The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
Page 10 [contents] ||   ||  ||
 vol. 41. iss. 1, March 2006
odd sight. Imagine yourself right-side immersed in January waters, trying your hardest not to disturb tiny floating rafts, when you look and there staring back at you terrified, cold, mesmerized by your light sits a frog, perched atop a stalagmite that matches his mottled skin. As I proceed through a low crawl across wooden boards, he disappears into the next pool, deftly dodging calcite rafts, then reemerging.

    Past this the cave again regains its plodding rather dull state. Meandering stream passage topped by meandering canyon, at one point we follow a small side passage, which abruptly pinches out. But alas it’s a new project, easier than any Woodard trip (and not nearly as dangerous). And as we turn around with no less than three different strings of cave still ahead of us, muddy, soaked, and completely contented Peg states “This could be a fun survey project.”
(continued in Part II)

The Bluegrass Grotto surveyed “Sinks of the Roundstone Cave” for hibernating bats on Sunday February 12, 2006.
(Brooke Slack)

present: Brooke Slack, Ryan Slack, Keith Hayden, Sarah Bell, Matt Simpson, Jerry Dixon, Kasey Webb and Arthur Cammers.

The survey identified Indiana bats – 22, Little brown bats – 219, Eastern pipistrelle bats – 75, Big brown bats – 2. of these the former are in the most trouble. The majority of the bats were roosting in the huge domes 30 to 50 feet from the bottom of the cave. Since Sinks is such a common cave explored by our readers many times -- most

recently collectively during a clean up -- let’s focus on the study of bats and the techniques employed in counting bats. This area is a focus in Brooke Slack’s research. From her description below, it is obviously easier to count them while they sleep.

(Sara Bell)(Jerry Dixon, Keith Hayden)(Ryan Slack)

(Brooke Slack) Bats in eastern North America are insectivorous and forage near water or in wooded areas.  To do this at night, bats use echolocation to find food and to navigate while in flight.  Echolocation calls of bats are actually ultrasonic pulses (pulses humans can’t hear).  Researchers have used this knowledge to their advantage by incorporating ultrasonic bat detectors into their studies.  These “bat detectors” come in many shapes and sizes and can identify a bat in flight down to the species
level based on the sequence of its call.  One of the more common bat detectors used is called the Anabat II.  This device can detect the echolocation calls bats use while feeding and navigating and send these calls to a flashcard.  The flashcard is then uploaded onto a PC and


Page 10 [contents] ||   ||  ||