Course Schedule

Natural History of Bats

Class will meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the first 3 days and 1-4 pm on the last 3 full days of classes.  Other class times are TBA and will take place in the field. Details will be provided in the syllabus.  The following is a rough outline of course activities.

Day 1Ernst Tinaja

What is a bat? Morphology, Echolocation, and Diversity
Identification of Texas bats: Discussion of the methods to be used to identify species of chiropterans we may encounter in Big Bend. Go over important measurements and terms used in the key. Key exercises are due tomorrow. Specimens will be available for review in class tomorrow. Also view Bat Chat echolocation slide show.

Day 2

Reproduction, Roosting, and Diets of Bats
The Secret World of Bats: Watch video on the natural history, diversity, behaviors, and role of bats in tropical ecosystems. We will also review specimens in lab.

Day 3

Continue Reproduction, Roosting, and Diets of Bats
Field notes, techniques and equipment. A survey of different types of equipment used to capture and study bats. We will practice setting up mistnets and demonstrate other equipment (GPS, radiotelemetry, ANABAT). Guidelines for filling out data sheets and keeping your journals will also be discussed. Specimens will be available for review.

Day 4Santa Elena Canyon

Quiz over topics covered since the beginning of class (including identification of museum specimens). You should be pack for the trip before coming to class!
Depart at 4:00 pm for James Eckert River Bat Cave in Mason, Texas to witness the mass emergence of Mexican free-tailed bats at dusk. We will carpool there, watch the emergence and drive home the same night (returning about 11:30 pm).

Day 5

Depart from Cavness Science Building at 9:00 am for Big Bend National Park group campsite in the Basin campground.

Day 6-9

Class in Big Bend.

Day 10

Return to San Angelo approximately 6 p.m.

Day 11-13

Data summary and analysis, construct species list, go over guidelines for research report. Take Quiz over field techniques used or demonstrated in the course. Fill out Course Evaluations.

Day 14

Journal and research report are due.

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