The Visitor Centre at Pukaskwa National Park now hosts an ultrasonic microphone and data logger as part of a new bat monitoring program at the Park. Like bird songs, different bats make calls specific to their species, allowing us to determine which species are present in the area. This monitoring equipment records high frequency bat echolocation calls, as well as temperature and relative humidity. It also permits researchers to conduct acoustic bat surveys without affecting bat behaviour or disturbing their habitat.
A Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus
As a leader in conservation, Parks Canada works to protect important species. Bats comprise one-quarter of the world’s known mammal species, and are an important part of a forest’s ecology. They play a vital role as voracious predators of night-flying insects, and can consume up to three times their body weight in insects each night.
The recordings will tell us which of Ontario’s eight bat species are present in Pukaskwa National Park, as well as what time of year and at what temperatures they are active. This will give us baseline information so we are able to monitor any changes which occur to these vulnerable species as a result of white-nose syndrome or otherwise. Parks Canada contributes to the goals of Canada's National Conservation Plan with initiatives like these, which build on Canada’s collective conservation achievements.
By Sarah Richer
Pukaskwa National Park
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