National Park Service releases regional NABat protocol for Pacific Northwest
Updated: Mar 11, 2022
The National Park Service recently published the first region-specific protocol for implementing NABat stationary acoustic surveys, a plan that will be implemented by the Northwestern Hub for Bat Population Research and Monitoring (NW Bat Hub) at Oregon State University-Cascades. The document provides field-level guidance and protocols for one component of NABat while ensuring consistency of efforts across the entire region. The protocols outlined are compatible with NABat guidance but specifically tailored to the needs of NABat partners in the Pacific Northwest and can serve as a reference guide for other regions. Authors of the document hope it will demonstrate that region-specific modifications, needed to accommodate local variation, can maintain compliance with general NABat guidance and protocols. However, the authors caution that changes should be made with careful consideration and only after consulting with the NABat Coordinating Office.
The primary document provides a detailed overview of the entire protocol — including training, selecting locations, deployment, data management, analyses, and data delivery — and is designed for coordinators, team leaders, and crew leads who require a thorough understanding of background and decision making. However, separate, standalone SOPs for field personnel are also included, along with a portable field reference manual.
The NW Bat Hub is a cooperative interagency partnership that includes the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Idaho Fish and Game, U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Regional partners collaborate to monitor trends in 15 bat species common to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Northern California. The partnership sprung from the collaborative multi-agency Bat Grid Program conducted from 2003-2010 in Oregon and Washington. Since 2016, the NW Bat Hub has surveyed more than 100 grid cells, conducted preliminary analyses of regional trends, and established a citizen-science initiative to engage private citizens with NABat objectives.
"North American Bat Monitoring Program Regional Protocol for Surveying with Stationary Deployments of Echolocation Devices" is available for download here.
Separate, standalone SOPs are available here.