Following BRI's initial work on mink and river otters, the mammal program quickly expanded to incorporate studies of other aquatic dwelling animals, including bats. There are more than 1,105 known species of bats, comprising nearly a quarter of all mammal species. In the U.S., more than half of the bat species forage adjacent to waterways. Bats are also long-lived (up to 30 years for some) and have the potential to accumulate high levels of toxins over time.These unique and mysterious creatures are at the center of some of today's most pressing ecological issues, such as white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungus, and mortality associated with wind turbines. BRI biologists, collaborating across several programs, are conducting studies to address these issues.
“The first time I worked with bats,
I was amazed at how small and
delicate they are."
— David Yates, Program Director
- Collaborate with state, federal, and private agencies to evaluate contaminant exposure in furbearers and insectivores such as bats and shrews
- Determine potential effects contaminants have on health, reproductive success and survival
- Conduct studies that are scientifically pertinent in the conservation of mammals
- Conduct inventories of rare/endangered mammals
Current BRI Projects
- Bat Survey of Parker River and Great Bay NWR
- Contaminant exposure evaluation of furbearing mammals in New England
- Mercury exposure profiles for Bats in NY and VA. NY report, NY poster, VA poster
- Large Carnivore Tracking
- Population evaluation
- Maine and New England
- The Eastern Seaboard from New York to Virginia
Recent Reports, Papers and Presentations
- Yates, D. and Evers, D.C. 2007. Pilot assessment of methylmercury availability to furbearers on the North Fork of the Holston River, Virginia- 2005. Report BRI 2007- 10 - submitted to the U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv., Gloucester, Virginia. BioDiversity Research Institute, Gorham, ME.
- Yates, D. and Evers, D.C. 2006. Assessment of bats for mercury contamination on the North Fork of the Holston River, VA- 2005. Report BRI 2006-9. Biodiversity Research Institute, Gorham, ME.
- Yates, D.E., Mayack, D.T., Munney, K. 2005. Mercury levels in mink (Mustela vison) and river otter (Lontra Canadensis) from Northeastern North America. Ecotoxicology 14, 263-274. pdf