Topic: White-nose Syndrome
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission held its final meeting of 2012 in a special one day meeting on Friday, November 30th.
The commission heard from Mike Patterson, a Middle Tennessee sportsman, voicing concerns about planned restrictions by the U.S. Corps of Engineers allowing boating access below dams along the Cumberland River. Specifics of the restrictions are not known at this time. «Read the rest of this article»
Golden Pond, KY – Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area recently benefitted from a local Eagle Scout Project that placed four bat roosting boxes at Wranglers Campground.
After much planning, preparation, and gathering of donations, Liam Parker led fellow Scouts from Murray, KY’s Boy Scout Troop 45 in installing the boxes on August 18th.
Clarksville, TN – On a muggy evening in late June, several Austin Peay State University graduate and undergraduate students hiked up to the mouth of Dunbar Cave in the hopes of finding a few bats.
The group brought with them a large Harp trap, consisting of a metal frame inset with rows of thin fishing line, and three high-frequency microphones and computerized recording units. After setting up their equipment, they sat in the cool dark of the cave opening and waited.
TWRA reports State of Tennessee extends Public Caves Closure into Fourth Year to Protect Bats in Southeast
Nashville, TN – Caves located on state lands in Tennessee will remain closed in an effort to slow the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) among the state’s bat population.
During the upcoming year, state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations will consult with recreational caving organizations to determine how to best manage the spread of this disease while maintaining high quality recreation. Biologists will also continue to work with researchers to better understand WNS and determine the best ways to mitigate the effects of WNS on Tennessee’s bats. «Read the rest of this article»
Nashville, TN - Caves located on state lands in Tennessee will remain closed in an effort to slow the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) among the state’s bat population. During the upcoming year, state and Federal agencies and non-governmental organizations will consult with recreational caving organizations to determine how to best manage the spread of this disease while maintaining high quality recreation.
State land holding agencies including Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture initially agreed to close all caves on public property beginning July 1st, 2009. The Nature Conservancy has also agreed to follow the state’s lead to extend the closure on all caves located on Conservancy property. «Read the rest of this article»
On a muggy summer night, while cicadas and crickets screeched in the woods at the Land Between The Lakes Recreational Area, a couple of Austin Peay State University graduate students attached a small microphone to the top of a van. Once it was set, they drove slowly through the wooded natural area, collecting sounds they couldn’t hear with the naked ear.
“The microphone records bat calls – high frequency sounds we don’t hear generally,” graduate student Seth McCormick said. “It records and makes a document of it, so we’re able to see the pattern of each bat call. That way we can determine what species of bats are present.”
McCormick and APSU grad student Morgan Kurz have made names for themselves within the scientific community in recent years because of their in-depth bat research. Their expertise led the U.S. Forest Service to contract with the APSU Center of Excellence in Field Biology this summer to monitor bat species in the 300-plus acre natural area. «Read the rest of this article»
Photos by Ruthann Cashner and Amy Wallace (passionflower, visitors/program)
Dunbar Cave State Natural Area — The cave, as you may know, has been closed since the beginning of November. We always close during the winter to let the bats hibernate in peace. Usually we would reopen in April, but this year a bat infected with White Nose Syndrome was found in March and the cave was closed indefinitely. We recently found out that even if this hadn’t happened, we still would not have been able to go into the cave after the first of May. We have at least a foot of mud in many of the passageways (at least those we could even get into, some were just too slippery to manage) that will take months to dry.
Save the Date! This Saturday, May 1st, is the Annual Spring Fling at Dunbar Cave State Park. Outdoor activities for the entire family start at 7:00 am with a Bird Hike and ends with canoeing on Swan Lake in the afternoon.
Bat in Dunbar Cave Tested Positive for White Nose Syndrome
Tennessee State Parks will suspend cave tours at Dunbar Cave State Park after a bat from Dunbar Cave tested positive for White Nose Syndrome. Other park activities and events, including fishing, hiking and picnic facilities will remain open and available to the public.
Dunbar Cave does not have a large bat population due, in part, to a past fire and therefore, was not closed in 2009 when the state closed public caves in an effort to protect Tennessee bat populations from White Nose Syndrome. The cave is closed every year from November through March to allow the limited number of bats that are there a disruption free hibernation. It has not yet reopened for the year, and has not hosted any public visitors over the winter.
Biologists across the country are trying to find out more information about the white-nose syndrome fungus that has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of hibernating bats in the last three years. And the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for Field Biology will be an integral part of that discovery.
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