In May of 2013, the FWS released the 2013 Revised Range-wide Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidelines. The updated 2014 Rangewide Indiana Bat Summer Survery Guidelines are now available. Obviously, if you do Indiana bat surveys, you’ll want to compare the documents for yourself, but just in case you want a quick synopsis, I reviewed the new Guidelines and made a list.
Apart from a simplified (but consistent) “Objectives” statement, substantive changes to the Guidelines include:
- Mist-netting surveys for non-linear projects in the Northeast and Appalachian Recovery Units now require a minimum of 42 (previously, 24) net nights per 0.5 km² of suitable summer habitat (See “Step 4,” page 5 of the Guidelines.).
- Instructions for mist-netting surveys in the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest USFWS Regions no longer contain language that allows survey results following previous Indiana Bat Mist Netting Guidelines (from the 2007 Indiana Bat Draft Recovery Plan) (See “Step 4,” page 5 of the Guidelines.).
- Mist-netting surveys for non-linear projects in the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest USFWS Regions now require a minimum of 9 (previously, 4) net nights per 0.5 km² of suitable summer habitat (See “Step 4,” page 5 of the Guidelines.).
- The 2014 Guidelines also specify that the sampling period for netting in the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest USFWS Regions will begin at sunset and continue for at least 5 hours. A maximum of 3 consecutive netting nights at any given location is set (see “Step 4”, page 6 of the Guidelines.).
- The number of detector nights for acoustic surveys in non linear projects has been reduced from 6 detector nights per 0.5 km² to 4 detector nights per 0.5 km² (“Step 5”, page 6). The number of detector locations per 0.5 km² has been changed from 3 locations to 2 locations to mirror the change in number of detection nights required.
- A minor clarification that results of acoustic ID programs should be reviewed “by site by night” (previously “by night and site”) (“Step 6”, page 7).
- There is a new statement describing the minimum review of files from acoustic ID programs at the beginning of “Step 7,” page 7. This basically stipulates that when the acoustic ID program tags a sight/night as having likely Indiana bat presence, all files from that sight/night must be reviewed