WCPO: UC and the Ohio Natural Resources Department want to count your bats

Citizen input is needed for a research study on bat population, dying due to a fungus

People usually only think about bats at Halloween; but many structures are domiciles for bats year-round; but, if you have bats at any time, there’s someone who wants to know: UC bat researcher Joe Johnston, an assistant professor of information technology at UC. 

Johnston, in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, is conducting a study on Ohio’s bat population and how it’s been affected by a fungal infection called “white nose syndrome.” To do so, he needs citizen input and cooperation.    

“We'll come out. We'll take a look, identify them, collect some basic information about the sites, such as the number of animals that are there, the species, the kind of structure that they're in," Johnston told WCPO about the effort to track the bats and determine what might be done to improve a decline in the bat population.  

Then it's really a matter of the individual landowner’s interest in working with Johnson on the research project.

The project isn't about removing bats from someone's attic, or anything like that, Johnson says. "We're not going to show up, and say 'Oh, you've got this rare bat, you have to now dedicate your barn to their preservation.'

Property owners interested in participating can email Johnson at bats@uc.edu.

Listen to the interview

Read more about Johnson's research

Featured image at top courtesy of Unsplash.

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