The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University are looking for volunteers interested in performing night time surveys for bats in Dubuque, Pocahontas, Marshall, Franklin and Butler counties.
The survey monitors bat occurrence in key areas of the state. It began in response to declining bat population from White Nose Syndrome, among 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 these standardized survey routes for the last 10 years.
Volunteers will need a vehicle and a partner to run the survey and to be available for at least two nights; one during a two-week period in July. The survey begins 30 minutes after sunset and takes roughly 2.5 hours. Volunteers may also be asked to set up, leave for a period of days and then retrieve equipment at 1-2 locations near the driving route.
The total time commitment, including training, the two surveys and picking up and dropping off equipment, is roughly 10-12 hours between June and July. More details can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/vwmp/ as well as an electronic volunteer interest form that can be filled out if you are willing to help with the survey.