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Vermont Bats Summer Maternity Roost Monitoring Program

Vermont’s bats are in trouble and we need your help finding and counting colonies of bats living in buildings.

Female little brown and big brown bats congregate in groups in spring through summer to give birth and rear their young. These insect-eating bat species are a vital part of our state’s ecosystem yet we know little about them. Your help monitoring summer bat activity around the state will let us make informed decisions about the welfare and long-term conservation of these important mammals.

The survey will gather base line information on summer bat colonies and help evaluate the impact of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) on summer bat colonies by:

  • Identifying the location and evaluating the approximate size of bat maternity roosts by counting the number of bats exiting the roost at night (emergence counts).

  • Determining where more extensive surveys are needed by comparing the bat counts before the young bats (pups) can fly (pre-volant counts) and after the pups start flying (post-volant counts).

How Do I Get Involved?

We make it easy. We supply a detailed instruction sheet and all the necessary forms to fill out. So if you are interested, download the instructions and forms and get ready to start your counts.

  1. Summer Maternity Roost Monitoring Instructions
  2. Surveyor Information Data Form: Use this form for registering with the program.
  3. Summer Maternity Roost Description: Use this form for recording the location and characteristics of the building with the roost.
  4. Emergence Count Data Form: Use this form for recording the actual bat count.

What is the Commitment level?

Bat Reporter- Conduct one (or more) emergence counts of a roost between May 15th and July 31st. If conducting only one count, try to conduct in mid-July when the colony should be most stable.

Bat Tracker-Conduct at least one (preferably 2) emergence counts of a roost before most pups begin flying (pre-volant). Pre-Volant counts: Conduct between June 3rd and June 23rd. And at least one (preferably 2) emergence counts after most pups begin flying (post-volant). Post-Volant counts: Conduct between July 8th and July 28th

Bat Enthusiast- Conduct at least one emergence count of a roost every 2 weeks (preferably every week) from: May 15th through July 31st.

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