Long Island Century Bat Survey Completed in Time for National Bat Week

An Eastern red bat is measured and weighed during the Long Island Century Bat Survey on Fire Island National Seashore.
An Eastern red bat is measured and weighed during the Long Island Century Bat Survey on Fire Island National Seashore.

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News Release Date: October 17, 2014

Contact: Lindsay Ries, 631-687-4768

Patchogue, New York –Fire Island National Seashore participated in the inaugural Long Island Century Bat Survey. Events took place in August and October and included public education programs and citizen science surveys on Fire Island and Long Island. Recent declines in bat populations have spurred conservation efforts across the country, including the first ever National Bat Week, scheduled for October 26 through November 1.

Nearly 40 bats representing three different species –Eastern red bat, Northern long-eared bat, and big brown bat –were recorded during surveys in August and October on Fire Island and at the William Floyd Estate, a unit of Fire Island National Seashore located in Mastic Beach. Bat specialist Mike Fishman, who led the survey efforts, was excited to find a Northern long-eared bats, a species that is "rare in the northern part of New York State" and has been proposed to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The Long Island Century Bat Survey was designed not only to collect information about bats but also to educate the public about the current status of bats. Fire Island National Seashore offered three public programs this year, drawing more than 100 visitors to the park to learn more about these flying mammals. "

Bat surveys and educational programs were also conducted at Gateway National Recreation Area and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. More than a dozen citizen scientists volunteered to assist with the surveys, helping to collect data that will help Long Island land managers better protect bats and bat habitat.

Fire Island National Seashore was one of 23 national parks selected to receive a 2014 Impact Grant from the National Park Foundation. Now in its seventh year, the Impact Grants program provides national parks with the critical financial support they need to transform innovative, yet underfunded, ideas into successful in-park programs and initiatives.

About the National Park Service More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

About Fire Island National Seashore Fire Island National Seashore encompasses 26 miles of ocean and bay shoreline, lush backdunes, maritime forests and residential communities on Fire Island, a barrier island situated south of Long Island, New York. Fire Island's dynamic coastal landscape is home to a diversity of plants and wildlife and offers a retreat from nearby metropolitan New York. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/fiis.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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