Bats in Small Cities Project

About the project

In the June of 2023, we conducted an acoustic survey of bat activity and diversity throughout medium and small cities in the Midwestern US in collaboration with Han Li (University of Nebraska-Omaha). Our project, which we are calling the Bats in Small Cities (BiSC) Project, surveyed 40 cities. To accomplish this, we built a volunteer network composed of wildlife enthusiasts, natural resource professionals, students, and university faculty members. Our volunteers recorded bat calls at 24 different locations alongside roads in their urban area, which gave us information about the bat species present in the neighborhoods, parks, and forests of their city.

With the data we collected, we aim to answer the following questions:

  1. What features within a city influence bat activity and diversity?
  2. Does the surrounding landscape of a city influence bat activity and diversity?

To our knowledge, this will be the first multi-city urban bat study in North America, and we are excited to see what new insights we can gain about the ecology and behavior of city-dwelling bats!

Volunteer sign-ups are closed

We had an overwhelming response from interested volunteers across the Midwest to participate in the BiSC. Sadly, we could not accommodate everyone due to limited resources. If you want to follow along for updates to the project as we sample and analysis our data, come back to this website throughout the summer!

Project Updates

6/7/2023 – Detectors have shipped out to volunteers, who are gearing up to collect data in the coming weeks!

6/12/2023 – Volunteers have begun sampling!

6/21/2023 – We received our first detector back from a volunteer who completed sampling!

6/30/2023 – The sample period officially ended!

7/7/2023 – Due to air quality issues across the Midwest, some of our volunteers had to wait a few more days to finish sampling. As of this date, all of our sampling has been completed!

7/13/2023 – Nearly all the data has been uploaded from the detectors. Our volunteers recorded over 16,000 files and over 40 GB of audio! We are now entering the data analysis phase of the project. Keep an eye on this space for updates on our results!