Bats have long been excluded from species data collection, in part because they’re so difficult to find and study. Using modern echometer technology, we can now identify species of bats relatively easily and cheaply with zero impact on the bats themselves, and start adding bats to our species lists, baseline reports, and grant applications. Additionally, the changing public perceptions of bats and increased awareness of their ecological importance make them wonderful subjects of community engagement events. We’ll chat about the general ecology of bats in Michigan, ongoing partnerships actively studying bat populations, and specific monitoring methodology.
Ian Ableson is the Stewardship Manager for Six Rivers Land Conservancy in Southeast Michigan, and he has carried an enthusiasm for bats with him wherever he goes. Prior to his work for Six Rivers, Ian worked for the Organization for Bat Conservation as an Education Specialist, where he spent most of his time presenting with live bats at schools, nature centers, and libraries throughout the state (and occasionally beyond). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Michigan.