Hosts: Mark Kay Clark (Moonlight Consulting), Gabrielle Greater (NC Wildlife Resources Commission), Sue Cameron (USFWS, USFS).
Location: Crossnore, NC
Over 100 participants from as far away as Arizona attended the 2011 blitz with representatives from state and federal agencies, private consulting, NGOs, museum, and zoos. Thirty sites were surveyed during the blitz and were located on state and federal lands including state parks, state natural areas, state game lands, and the Blue Ridge Parkway and National Forest. No surprising species were captured except for a Seminole bat (Lasiurus seminolus) which may represent a county record. No white-nose syndrome signs were noted (wing damage index 0 or 1). A significant number of samples were also collected for Tom Kunz’s recently funded (NSF) work on WNS
Seven species were captured including big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis), red bats (Lasiurus borealis), hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus), Seminole bats (Lasiurus seminolus), tri-colored bats (Perimyotis subflavus) with the Myotis species accounting for the highest numbers. Over 100 bats were captures each night with the highest number of captures (159) on the first night. Final count was 421 bat captures for the 3 nights and nobody got skunked – very unusual!
A public education program with more than 100 local participants featured information on WNS and included a presentation by Sue Cameron. One attendee there is wrote a piece that will appear in four local papers and include WNS info. Also BatsLIVE!, a free public education effort for grades 4-8, sent a film team. Blitz footage and information on bats in general will be available to schools as will an interview with Sue Cameron about WNS geared to that age group.