On a cool fall night, a biologist in Southeast Alaska is monitoring for bats. She's set up a mist net, and bats are flying overhead. A bat detector hears the ultra-high-pitched echolocation calls that bats use to find their insect prey and converts them into a range that people can hear. She's caught a bat in the net, and it vocalizes with chittering squeaks as we untangle it, then it calms down as we tag and release it.
Alaskans sometimes find dead bats, and bat researchers with Fish and Game want dead bats. Use gloves or a plastic bag to collect the dead bat and put it in a ziplock bag, and put that into another ziplock and seal it. Label the outer bag with the date, location and your contact information and keep it cool, but do not freeze it. The fish and Game website has contact information for local offices and bat researchers. The bat will be tested for pathogens like rabies, and for bat diseases like white nose syndrome, which has killed little brown bats in the Lower 48, and which has not been detected in Alaska. Continued monitoring will help biologists understand the status of bats in Alaska.