Bat Research at Illinois College
Bats are a critical component of a healthy ecosystem. Did you know that a bat can eat up to their body weight in insects in a single night and that many species are important pollinators of plants?
Many species of bats are declining in North America due to White Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that affects bats while hibernating. Dr. Bryan Arnold and Illinois College collaborate with multiple organizations both locally (e.g. the Illinois Department of Natural Resources) and abroad (Natural History Museum of Pinar del Rio and Soroa Botanical Gardens in Cuba) to conduct research to help identify and manage summer roosting and foraging habitats important for the development of bat conservation plans.
Illinois College students working with Dr. Arnold have opportunities to conduct both field research examining the social behavior of temperate and tropical bat species (locations include sites in Illinois, South Florida, and in Western Cuba) and laboratory research analyzing acoustic and video recordings, and collecting genetic data using wing punches from captured bats.