Our guest speaker for April has handled eleven of the 18 species of bats that either live or migrate through Wyoming. Laura Beard has been with Wyoming Game and Fish’s Nongame program for just over a year. Before that, she worked for Alaska Fish and Game, surveying bats in SE Alaska.
She will discuss bat ecology in Wyoming, touching on white-nose syndrome (WNS) along with other conservation issues affecting bats. As the fungus that causes WNS continues to spread west, more species will become exposed and their specific ecology and suite of behaviors may affect whether they experience mortality. The genus Myotis appears to be the most affected, and this group is the most numerous in Wyoming, therefore it is important to get detailed baseline data on the distribution of this genus before the arrival of the fungus.
Laura and her colleagues have just finished up an eight year survey of bats throughout the state. Four years were dedicated to categorizing which bats live in forests, the second four years looked at cliffs and caves. They will be changing focus soon to the eastern part of the state, which represents the East-West division between certain analogous species.
Come and hear more about bats in Wyoming on Friday, April 8, 2016, at 7 PM at the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Building at 2211 King Blvd. As always, the program is free and open to the public!!
PROGRAM CHAIR—Bruce Walgren & info. from Laura Beard