The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
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 vol. 41. iss. 1, March 2006
the calls are analyzed using a software program called Analook.  This process can tell you what bat species are foraging in a particular area.  Bat detectors are widely used because they are fairly easy to set up and do not stress the bats like typical capture methods.  Some  biases of bat detectors are user error while downloading and deciphering the calls and underrepresentation of bat species heard.  Depending on where the bat detector is placed, it can miss bats which are either flying too high or too low.

Typical capture methods used while studying bats are considered “direct capture” which commonly involve mist nets or harp traps.  Mist nets are typically 10 ft long by 18 to 60 ft wide and are made out of finely woven black nylon.  Researchers erect these nets 20 and 30 ft high in areas where they think bats are going to be flying.  Mist nets are monitored and when a bat is caught, it is immediately removed.  Harp traps are 6 ft tall by 5 or 6 ft wide squares with fishing line arranged approximately 1 in apart.  There is a bag placed under the fishing line which catches the bats as they fly into the fishing line. Harp traps are designed to catch and hold many bats.  Mist nets are more commonly used along streams or forested corridors such as old logging roads.  Harp traps are typically used at a cave or mine entrance.  Both methods are widely used by researchers because this allows positive identification of the bat to the species level and also provides morphological characteristics  such as age, sex, and reproductive condition.  These characteristics can aid researchers in determining where the bats are coming from or going to and if a hibernaculum is near by.  However, direct-capture methods are labor-intensive requiring several biologists, and they do not catch every bat in the area, and can stress the bats due to handling.

Both methods have their pros and cons but are best when used together.  A bat detector can provide an overview of what species are using the area and coupled with mist netting or harp trapping, you can determine the sex, age, and reproductive condition of those species.

Eclipse Cave
Part 2
Peggy Renwick (BGG)


(outside Eclipse Cave)
During the next week, Ben and I plotted (no pun intended) our first survey trip into Eclipse Cave. Of course, after our first trip, we didn’t know we’d been in Eclipse Cave; the owner didn’t know its name, and we could only get a GPS reading by standing in Troy’s driveway. When we got home, though, we promptly emailed our caving pals the coordinates and a description, and before long Tony Groves replied that it sounded like Eclipse Cave – very near our coordinates, and he and others had visited it last year! It was first explored and named by Dan McDowell, of Dunbar Cave fame, he said – but by all accounts, it had never been surveyed, and we were eager for the opportunity!

On Sunday morning, we met up with Charles Blakeway,  and headed to Troy’s house, where we chatted over

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