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Biologists catch, measure, tag to help protect bats

PostPosted: Jul 24, 2006 10:43 am
by Wayne Harrison
Biologists catch, measure, tag to help protect bats
By Greg Kocher
Lexington Herald-Leader

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Seth Bishop of East Kentucky Power Cooperative prepared to untangle a bat from a net. He and others are ensuring no rare bats live near the route of a proposed power line.

The bats are on time.

Biologist Josh Young had said that peak feeding time for bats would be from 9 to 10:30 p.m.

Sure enough, just a few minutes after 9 Thursday night, Young and colleague Seth Bishop make their first catches of the night -- a red bat and a smaller Eastern pipistrelle.

Gently the two men untangle the tiny creatures from nets strung near Silver Creek, 6 miles west of Richmond.

The red bat in Young's hands gnaws vigorously at his fingers. One hand is bare, the other covered with a batting glove. Young, who has been vaccinated against rabies, puckers and blows on the bat's head in a vain attempt to distract it.

"Red bats can actually break the skin. But this guy is so little," says Bishop, who held the pipistrelle or "pip" for short.

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