Which Bats Are on the Bounty Farm?

Petaluma Bounty participated in the North American Bat Survey for the second year in a row! In celebration of Bat Week, we want to share with you which bat species were detected at the Bounty Community Farm back in June/July of 2021.

Bat Week is an annual, international celebration to highlight the amazing creatures. Although we may not always see them, bats are hard at work all over the world each night — eating tons of insects, pollinating flowers, and spreading seeds, according to the Bat Week website.

How do we know which bats visited the Bounty Farm? 

Each year, conservation scientists install a monitoring device programmed specifically for bat sound recognition and identification. They record data for a week and take the device back to the lab to analyze.

According to the device, the following types of bats visited the Bounty Farm during that week:

Pallid BatTownsend’s Big-eared Bat
California myotis
Yuma myotis
Mexican free-tailed bat
Antrozous pallidusCorynorhinus townsendiiMyotis californicusMyotis yumaensisTadarida brasiliensis
More infoMore infoMore infoMore infoMore info
To read fascinating facts about each bat species, click on the links above!

Any notable changes from 2020?

Yes, in 2020, six species of bats were identified, including the Western Red Bat, the Hoary Bat, and the Silver-Haired Bat. 

Bats new to us this year include the Pallid Bat and Townsend’s Big-eared Bat. The latter species was extra exciting for our scientist partners because it is a species of special concern.

Although different species were recorded between 2020 and 2021, scientist partners were not ready to make any conclusions. Because the sampling was done at different times of the year, the presence of specific species could be due to migratory patterns and not necessarily a change in resident species. In order to better understand point-in-time changes to populations and how it relates to larger populations and data sets, we’ll need a few more years of participation under our belts.

To read about our 2020 report, click here. 

How did Bounty Community Farm become part of this effort?

We jumped at the opportunity to participate in the North American Bat Survey when we were approached by Matt Lau, a local representative from the project and a longtime Bounty Farm volunteer.

Located in a peri-urban environment, our farm offers a hospitable environment for migratory and resident bat populations. We are excited to learn more about the interconnected web of life that makes up our ecosystem and what we can do to support greater biodiversity.

Additionally, we especially appreciate the collaborative and community approach to this study and would love to partner with more conservation efforts. To learn more about the Bat Survey project, click here.

The Bat Survey is just one of a handful of amazing projects that Matt supports throughout the year. For more information on Matt’s work, check out his website.

Why should I care about bats?

Bats live almost everywhere on Earth and are vital to the health of our environment and economy, according to the Bat Week website. Many bat species in North America eat large amounts of insects, helping to protect our food crops and forests from insect pests. Many other bats eat pollen, nectar or fruit and help pollinate flowers and spread seeds.

And let’s not forget how amazing they are. Bats are the only mammal that can truly fly. Contrary to popular belief, they actually have good eyesight similar to us, humans. Read more about bats and why they matter on the Bat Week’s web page.

One Reply to “Which Bats Are on the Bounty Farm?”

  1. Susan Kirks

    I found this very interesting and am glad to hear you are participating in the survey. You all likely do not know this, but Paula Lane Action Network volunteers played a big role when the farm was first started many years ago. For the first 6 months, one of our Board members volunteered almost daily to just help the first farm manager, Amy, keep things going for the first 6 months. Before Petaluma Bounty took the property, a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks nested in a nearby tree, but were unfortunately driven off when Petaluma Bounty took over the land and human encroachment became primary. The land, as I’m sure you know, had a lot of gophers, which were the prey for the hawks and likely why they had chosen that site for nesting. I always had hoped a balance of leaving some land for the hawks and owls or other raptors would have occurred, but if you are having bats come, that’s good news. I’m not sure why Matt Lau’s name sounds familiar – our paths must have crossed in the past. Just know you used to have an incredible pair of hawks nesting there, so the property as grassland had benefit, especially with the high # of gophers there, and perhaps the bats are a transition species to try and support wild creatures being able to be in their natural setting.

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