Citizen scientists needed for valley bat research
March 15, 2018
Haines residents can be citizen scientists to assist Chilkat Valley bat research this summer.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is looking for people to gather data via acoustic bat monitoring devices from mid-April to October.
The high-pitched noises emitted by bats through echolocation, which cannot be heard by the human ear, can be recorded by a device called an Anabat. The device then converts the sound to something people can hear and creates a patterned sonogram with the data. Wildlife biologist Tory Rhoads said biologists can determine with about 60 percent accuracy the species of bat that put out the call.
Biologists also use the data to determine population size and study habitats, migration and distribution.
Haines participants can drive two routes, one from 31 Mile Haines Highway to the intersection of Main Street and Front Street and the other starting at Chilkoot Lake and ending at the end of Mud Bay Road. The Anabat microphone is attached to the roof of the car by a magnet. The drive must start 45 minutes after sunset as the surveyor drives at 20 miles per hour for the 30-mile-long transect.
Sign up at the library to participate and visit akcitizenscience.net for more information.