How to catch a bat

“Treat bats as you would unvaccinated children,” says Winifred Frick, chief scientist at Bat Conservation International. Before Covid, ...

“Treat bats as you would unvaccinated children,” says Winifred Frick, chief scientist at Bat Conservation International. Before Covid, biologists often breathed on the faces of bats to stop biting and on their bellies to confirm their reproductive status. Do not do that ; you might inadvertently give bat coronavirus. New bat handling protocols suggest using an air-blowing tool like one of these baby-booger nasal aspirators to blow air onto a bat instead. Also, wear a mask, get vaccinated, and test negative for coronavirus before going out into the field.

Bats are generally most active between sunset and midnight. To catch one, set up what is called a mist net over a stream or along a trail, which they use as migration routes. With a flashlight, check your nets every 10 to 15 minutes. Once you grab one, gently untangle it. Hold it in your non-dominant hand wearing a leather glove thick enough to withstand sharp teeth and another nitrile or latex glove on top. Press your thumb lightly under his chin to avoid biting. “Don’t squeeze the bat,” said Frick. Try not to keep a bat in captivity for more than an hour. Let pregnant or breastfeeding women go earlier. “You don’t want to stress them out,” says Frick, who just completed a stint leading a team of researchers catching little brown bats in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Avoid handling bats altogether unless you are vaccinated against rabies and have received the proper training.

If a bat is flying inside a building you are in, open the doors and windows and turn off the lights. “He will find his way,” said Frick. If the bat is injured or acts like a bat, put on gloves and gently pick it up in a towel and place it in a covered box with breathing holes. Then call an animal rescue organization.

Some bats are easier to catch than others. Tackling a golden-crowned flying fox, with its wingspan of nearly six feet, is markedly different from holding a tiny two-gram bumblebee bat. Attitudes also differ. “Some species are really cranky,” says Frick. Remember, bats are not responsible for this pandemic. “In some places people went out and killed bats,” Frick says. “There is no justification for this. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: How to catch a bat
How to catch a bat
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