Abstract

The negative stereotypes and myths associated with bats can adversely affect efforts toward their conservation. A way to overcome these preconceived notions is through environmental education and public outreach. The goal of this project was to establish a system for monitoring bat activity at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, with a component of environmental education included. This was accomplished through the establishment of a bat acoustic detector at Hawk Mountain Nature Center that was linked to a publicly accessible, interactive kiosk. The Hawk Mountain Bat Kiosk runs automated species identification software that compiles nightly bat activity into reports so that visitors can learn about the bat species that were present in the area the night before. The data were saved and analyses run to determine activity trends, indices of diversity, and species richness. We hope to establish additional kiosks to continue monitoring bats and provide public outreach for bat conservation education.

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