Bat Research in California
Townsend's big-eared bat. Photo courtesy of Merlin D. Tuttle © Bat Conservation International.
Photo courtesy of Merlin D. Tuttle © Bat Conservation International.
Bats are very misunderstood creatures. Although there are some risks associated with handling bats or any wild animal, they are noted for many more benefits, such as consuming vast numbers of insects, pollinating certain species of plants, and distributing seeds of fruits. Like other wildlife, if handled or molested they will defend themselves by biting. Like all mammals, bats can be carriers of the rabies virus. You should not pick up a bat that is on the ground, or touch one that is roosting.

Scientists at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center are studying bats in the San Francisco Bay area and in southern California to provide land managers information they need regarding the occurrence and status of bat species. Survey techniques include detecting bats by their vocalizations, observing foraging bats, and capturing bats at foraging or roosting sites. These scientists regularly handle bats, but they have been trained in appropriate capture and handling techniques, and they have been vaccinated against rabies.

WERC Research

Related Bat Links

For More Information Contact:
San Francisco Bay area--
Gary M. Fellers
Pt. Reyes Field Station
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes, CA 94956-9799
Phone: (415) 464-5185
Fax: (415) 464-5183
Email: gary_fellers@usgs.gov
 
San Diego County--
Drew Stokes
San Diego Field Station
5745 Kearny Villa Road, Suite M
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: (858) 637-6885
Fax: (858) 974-3563
Email: dstokes@usgs.gov

URL: http://www.werc.usgs.gov/bats/index.html
Last update: 27 March 2003