The primary goal of this study is to identify the species present on each of the Bay Islands. There have been over 100 species reported on the Honduran mainland, however there have never very few studies of the bat population of these unique Caribbean islands.
Bats play a crucial role in the pollination of neo-tropical plants and are also extremely important in forest regeneration trough seed dispersal. They are also natural controllers of insects’ populations, many of which are responsible for disease transmission.
Identifying the species present is the first step in understanding these mammals role in the islands eco-systems and evaluating any threats present to them. The study will focus on population size estimate of the bats roosting in the cave system, and to gain evidence of the Spectral Bat residing on the island. We'll be using mist nets and a capture-mark-recapture method for the cave bats, and a radio tag to track a Spectral Bat. With this project volunteers will have the opportunity to learn different field research techniques such as bat trapping, mist netting and bat handling, acoustic surveys. Additionally, the conservation of these fascinating creatures requires public education, so as well as the fieldwork, this project also includes developing our bat educational outreach program for the schools and local community.