Michigan Bat Monitoring Program
About the Michigan Bat Monitoring Program
The Michigan Bat Monitoring Program (MBMP) is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Organization for Bat Conservation. The program is a win-win for Michigan citizens who want to help bats, and state wildlife experts who need lots of eyes on the ground to figure out what bats are doing. Hopefully, the biggest winner of all will be the bats!
Volunteers in the MBMP use acoustic detectors to record bat calls. Several times each summer, participants attach a microphone to the top of their car and drive around very slowly. This allows one team to cover lots of ground, while not zooming past any bats that go unrecorded. Recordings are submitted to experts at OBC, who organize and analyze the data before passing it on to the DNR.
Why Michigan Bats?
Our bats are facing new and devastating diseases, climate change, and increased environmental alteration by humans. The program aims to monitor all types of habitats in Michigan, including forests, cities, wetlands, agricultural areas. Long-term monitoring is needed to understand how the number and types of species in these habitats changes over time. Are “pristine” habitats more important now than ever? Are some species increasing their use of rural and urban areas? We want to know what YOUR bats are doing!