They use hibernacula for overwintering that provide stable conditions that allow bats to enter a low energy state and survive with low metabolic demand. The temperature of the bats are almost as cool as the cave walls. Hibernacula are visited annually over decades by the MYLU and members of the team have observed one banded bat roosting in the same chamber for many years. Its last known age was nearing 40 years old.
How do hibernacula’s connect to our project?
Our group hypothesizes that bats entering and emerging from periods of hibernation during cold seasonal transitions will benefit from warm artificial roosts that potentially enhance survival and maximize fat reserves.
Image 1: The image with two researchers displays a portion of a hibernating colony directly across the valley from the Lehigh Hanson quarry. The researchers are placing long-term data loggers that monitor environmental conditions at the roosting locations as well as bat vocalizations.
Image 2: Roost loggers are used to monitor activity and vocalization of the bats within the hibernacula. Using the caving community as citizen scientists, these units are placed in many locations throughout Western Canada in partnership with The Wildlife Conservation Society Canada-Batcaver.org group and Alberta Environment and Parks.
Image 3: The white tube houses a datalogger provided by BatCaver.org that is placed to monitor the thermal and humidity regimes in direct proximity to the roosting bats.