Hosts: Marcia Carter, Mary Dodson, Laura Lewis, Joe McGuiness, Scotty Myers, Mark Robison, and Gary Watson (USFS) with Scott Dykes, Pete Wyatt, and Allen Ricks (TN Wildlife Resources Agency).

Over 110 bat biologists, researchers, managers and students converged at Roan Mountain State Park, TN July 29-August 2, 2007 for the 6th Annual SBDN Bat Blitz, the largest gathering of its kind in the region. These volunteers — almost half of them women– represented 42 agencies, corporations, universities and organizations and traveled from 16 states including FL, NY, MO, and TX.

In four nights, the volunteers logged 248 net-nights of effort for a landscape-scale survey of bats at 50 sites in the northeastern Cherokee National Forest (CNF), plus adjoining state and private lands. Over 462 bats representing seven species were captured or recorded using acoustic detection equipment. Captures included 203 northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis), 121 big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), 53 red bats (Lasiurus borealis), 31 little brown bats (M. lucifugus), and 24 eastern pipistrelles (Perimyotis subflavus). In addition, 29 small-footed bats (M. leibii; Sensitive) and one gray bat (M. grisescens; Endangered) were captured. A total of six new locations for rare species were added to state and federal databases as a result of this Bat Blitz.

On July 29, volunteer biologists gave a bat presentation and demo of mist netting
techniques to campers and visitors at Roan Mountain State Park. Print media responses
included articles by the Associated Press, Knoxville_News_Sentinel (PDF),  Chattanoogan (PDF), Tricities (PDF) and the Johnson City Press.
Johnson City’s News Channel 11 (WJHL) covered the event. An article
about the Blitz appeared in the November-December 2007 issue of the
Tennessee Conservationist

magazine and another article will appear in Tennessee Wildlife magazine. 

Tennessee Wild Side episode no. 1409 was filmed and has aired on several public television stations.

Major sponsors of the
Blitz included the U.S. Forest Service, TN Wildlife Resources Agency, TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation, Partners of the CNF, National Forest. Further contributions came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Johnny Lynch (artist), Wal-Mart, and Rise N’ Shine Coffee (Knoxville, TN).

Photos: Joy O’Keefe’s Picasaweb page.