Hosts: Blake Sasse (AR Game and Fish Commission), David Saugey, Shawn Cochran, Clay Vanhorn, Dan Miller (USFS)
Following the success of the Great Smoky Mountain Bat Blitz in 2001, the U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network sponsored a second Bat Blitz in 2003. Volunteer biologists from state and federal agencies, universities, and private companies from 9 states came together in the Ouachita National Forest of western Arkansas to learn as much as possible about the bat fauna of the area while sharing techniques with each other.
From August 4-7, 2003 a total of 209 bats, including 156 red bats (Lasiurus borealis), 25 eastern pipistrelles (Pipistrellus subflavus), 16 evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis), 7 northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis), and 5 big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) were captured at 22 sites on streams and roads in 4 Ranger Districts. Blood, DNA, feces, and hair samples from captured bats were collected to aid in ongoing research projects.
In order to generate positive publicity for bats, one evening was designated as “media night” and representatives from Arkansas’ statewide newspaper and 7 television stations from Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee attended trapping sessions.
Photo of attendees: Joy O’Keefe’s 2003 Blitz page.