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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Finding Bats

Bats are not easy to find. They spend their nights in the air hunting for insects, and as day approaches they will find the most inaccessible places to wedge themselves into. For many species, this day time roost might be in a new spot every day. This is a problem if you want to study bats, and biologists are finding a variety of creative ways to locate bats.

Enter the Bat Dog.


CJ, a chocolate lab working as a trained wildlife detector dog, tries to find bat roosting sites along with his handler, wildlife technician Elisabeth Mering in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona. Note the gps unit that will track CJ's evey move.


Once CJ detects the sent of bat guano, he will alert.


Here, tucked under the bark of a dead ponderosa tree is a maternity colony of allen's lappet-browed bats. It looks like chaos, but there are about 17 bats crammed together in this tiny spot.


As night falls, they slowly pop out from under the bark and head out into the night.


Little is known about this rare species.



hannah said...

Wonderful images, as ever. Wondering if CJ is trained to detect other wildlife?

OregonWild said...


Yes, CJ can be trained to locate a number of scents. In fact, he came from another state where he had been working on another project.


Bpaul said...

Mr. Oregonwild, sir -- I'd like to point a post this way on my blog, and grab an image from this to deck it with... that ok?

OregonWild said...

Mr bpaul

You bet. Anytime.


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Details About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
Husband, Father, Student Of Natural History, Photographer