With the help of the local Forest Service Blejwas says she’ll be studying the area’s bat population to add to her research.
“Over the last couple years we have done a lot of acoustic monitoring in the Juneau area. We have bat detectors that pick up echo location calls that can detect species and their movement s. We’re able to get a lot of information from that. I want to expand monitoring across Southeast Alaska to get a better idea of what the regional patterns are,” she says.
The acoustic detectors are ultra-sonic microphones that pick up the bats echo location calls. The detectors will then record the date and time. Blejwas says this information will give her a better idea of the number of bats in Southeast as well as their seasonal patterns.
"We are trying to find out the basics. Even with the species that we do know we have here in Alaska we don’t know much about their ranges or distribution. We are also trying to find out what they do in the winter time. So there are lots and lots of questions,” she says.
Thursday, February 9th Blejwas will be presenting “The Sounds of Silence: Echolocating Southeast Alaska’s Bats” at 7 p.m. in the Nolan Center. Blejwas plans to visit Ketchikan, Craig, Skagway and Gustavus at the end of this month.
Blejwas encourages anyone interested in the regions bat population or wildlife diversity to attend.