The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University are looking for volunteers interested in performing night time surveys for bats in Dubuque, Marshall/Tama/Poweshiek/Jasper, Pocahontas, Franklin/Hardin and Butler counties.
The survey monitors bat occurrence in key areas of the state. It began in response to declining bat populations from White Nose Syndrome and other challenges.
This survey uses acoustic recording equipment mounted on top of a car to detect bats along specific routes. Data has been collected on some of these standardized survey routes for the last 10 years.
Some new routes are being added as well as some stationary sites where equipment is left out for several nights. Volunteers will be responsible for both conducting the driving survey and placing and retrieving stationary equipment.
Volunteers will need a vehicle and a partner to run the drive survey and be available for at least two nights during a specified two-week period in July. The driving survey begins 45 minutes after sunset and takes roughly 2.5 hours.
Stationary equipment should be put out prior to the first drive survey and left out until the second drive survey has been completed (a minimum of four nights).
The total time commitment, including virtual training, the two surveys, placing and retrieving stationary equipment and picking up and dropping off equipment, is roughly 12 hours primarily in July.
The three routes that need adoption are located as follows:
- Southeastern Marshall County near Gilman (interested volunteers could be from Marshall, Tama, Jasper or Poweshiek Counties)
- Southwestern Franklin County on Hardin County Line
- Eastern Franklin County near Geneva into Western Butler County.
- Dubuque County west and North of Dubuque city between Centralia and Holy Cross
- Pocahontas County just west of the city of Pocahontas