Bat Speak: A Master’s degree Project

For me, there is nothing better than looking up on the ceiling or rafters of a building and seeing the tiny noses and faces of hundreds of little bats staring back down at you.

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Now that my first year of school has wrapped up, I’m moving into the data collection phase of my research. It has been a long year of reading, researching, writing, more reading, planning, more writing, more reading and more planning. And I’m really only just getting started. So much more needs to be done before the end of September, when all my bats will fly away to new locales for winter hibernation.

My research is focusing on bat communication signals, referred to as social calls, and how these signals are used by bats in the wild. Specifically, I will be testing the idea that bats use social calls to locate each other at roost sites, either through direct communication or through social eavesdropping. I will also be testing if they respond to all social calls, or if they prefer the calls of known individuals when compared to calls recorded from a different colony. Beyond the pure interest in social interactions of wild bats, this research has direct implication for many bat mitigation and relocation efforts, and will be used by the owners of my study site, The Benbow Inn to relocate their resident bats. More details about the background of this research and my specific plans can be found over on the Bat Speak page of this blog.

This blog will be following my 2013 field season, as well as bat research related news, wildlife and my forays into the trail running and ultramarathon world.

Stay batty,

Alyson

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