Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a 1,278-acre park in the center of the Black Hills in South Dakota established to protect the faces of four presidents carved on the mountainside. Granite outcroppings and the old growth ponderosa pine forest that surrounds the mountain may provide good bat roosting habitat.
The Northern Great Plains Inventory & Monitoring Network monitors bats to detect long-term trends in bat populations at the park. Ten acoustic recording stations were established in 2015 at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Acoustic recorders detect the unique ultrasonic calls bats use for echolocation. There were 44,796 bat call recordings from stations across all survey nights from 2015–2017. The data were analyzed through specialized software programs that make preliminary identifications of the bat species based on individual call characteristics, such as frequency and shape. Some bat species make calls that are similar to other species, which is why researchers with special expertise review the calls and make the final species determinations.