The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is looking for volunteer citizen scientists to count bats in the greater Champlain Valley and a few other sites around the state this summer.
Interested participants should attend a free training at 7:30 to about 9:30 p.m. on June 27 at Rokeby Museum, Route 7 in Ferrisburgh; the rain date is June 28.
Alyssa Bennett, a small mammals biologist at the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, will provide a 30-minute presentation about Vermont bats, their natural history and threats, and ways the public can help conserve bats and enhance their habitats.
Next will be a training for volunteers interested in monitoring colonies of state-endangered little brown bats this summer. Participants will learn how to count bats exiting their roosts between sunset and just after dusk.
Volunteers will be matched with colony sites for monitoring July 11-30.
Bennett said Vermont’s endangered little brown bats suffered massive population declines of up to 90 percent in recent years due to the deadly fungal disease, white-nose syndrome. “Thanks to the help of dedicated citizen scientists who monitor these rare colonies of female bats and their young, we have shown that the remaining population appears to be holding steady in our state,” she noted.
If weather is an issue, call 802-786-0098 on the day of the event to check if it has been postponed.