Hosts: Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, Mary Kay Clark (Moonlight Environmental Consulting), Mary Bunch (SCDNR)
Location: Beaufort and Jasper Counties, South Carolina
The Southeastern Bat Diversity Network’s (SBDN) 14th Annual Bat Blitz was hosted by the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy in Bluffton, SC from July 27th to July 30, 2015. Over 100 participants from 17 states helped survey the bats in coastal Beaufort and Jasper counties in South Carolina.
Mist-nets were set up at fifteen different locations each night in a variety of habitats ranging from maritime forests to freshwater wetlands to saltwater marsh edges. Some of the most productive sites were located in the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and on Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Other sites were in Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve, Sergeant Jasper State Park, Honey Horn Plantation, Spring Island and Palmetto Bluff.
A total of 303 individual bats from seven different species were caught; the most numerous was the Seminole bat (Lasiurus seminolus) followed by big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis), tricolored bat(Perimyotis subflavus), southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius), eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis) and northern yellow bat (Lasiurus intermedius). One of the yellow bats was fitted with a transmitter and it was found roosting in a wax myrtle the following day.
Data from the 2015 helped establish a baseline of data for the southeastern coast of South Carolina. Additional work by the SCDNR, USFWS, Clemson and Palmetto Bluff researchers continues to build on the information collected.
Photos and lots of other great information about the 2015 Blitz can be found on the Facebook Page.