Georgia DNR is looking for your help to monitor summer bat roosts across the state. This project involves counting bats exiting roosts at sunset just twice during each summer. Think you can help? Keep reading!
Bats may use a variety of structures for roosting, both man-made and natural. Here are some examples:
- Bat House (find out more about installing your own bat house)
- Bat Condo
- Other Buildings
How do you count bats? First you need to figure out where bats are coming out. If it’s a bat house or bat condo, that’s easy. But other structures may have multiple areas for bats to exit. Look for signs like staining and guano (bat poop) to figure out where the bats are coming in and out.
Come early! Set up and be ready for counting at least 30 minutes before sunset. Bats usually come out before it’s completely dark.
To count bats, you should position yourself near the roost with the night sky as a background whenever possible. DO NOT shine lights at the roost to count bats. This may prevent bats from exiting. It’s also a good idea to be quiet during bat emergence.
Not all bats will leave the roost every night. You may still hear some squeaking from inside the roost, but you can stop counting when the exit slows down and bats are only coming out occasionally. You may also notice some bats coming back in. That’s a good time to stop. Most emergences will not last more than 30 minutes to an hour.
New! Enter your data quickly and easily on your phone, tablet or computer. Just follow the link below to access our online survey form.
Download our bat roost counting form, complete both surveys and submit the form by mail or email.
*The Georgia DNR Bat Roost Monitoring Citizen Science Project materials were adapted from materials developed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Wisconsin DNR.