White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a disease killing millions of bats in eastern North America, including in Minnesota. Because bat populations are plummeting, land managers are taking precautions not to disturb bats during sensitive times of the year and are enhancing bat habitat where possible. Research and monitoring are ways to track the spread of the disease and to learn valuable information about the bats such as which tree species they roost in and where. In 2016, the Carlton County Land Department contracted Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST) to conduct acoustic and mist-net surveys for bats using two different pine plantation stands within Carlton County, Minnesota as summer habitat. The principle objective of summer bat surveys was to learn about bat activity and habitat, especially the federally threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis; NLEB), on Carlton County land. Surveys were conducted at two different times during the maternity season (May 15 to August 15; survey site 1: July 6 to 8; survey site 2: August 23 to 24, 2016).
View the official report below.
Carlton County Forest Bat Report 2016 (PDF)
An acoustic detector is installed by a bat biologist to monitor bat activity on county managed lands
Radio telemetry is a technique used to find bats (and their roost trees) that are outfitted with a radio transmitter
A research assistant removes a Red bat (Lasiurus borealis) from the mist net
A Northern long-eared bat is inspected for signs of white nose syndrome