October 2, 2013
Guess what? We have bats in the Nature Gardens! And we have proof, thanks to two of our intrepid scientists, Jim Dines and Miguel Ordeñana. Here's the proof, in sonogram format:
Keep reading to find out what bat these blue and green blobs belong to! Here's what Jim and Miguel have to say about our bat detector: "Colleagues: Last Friday we installed newly acquired bioacoustic monitoring equipment near the pond in the Nature Gardens in the hope of documenting nocturnal aerial visitors. Yes, we’re talking about bats! Beyond expectation, our equipment has already recorded two different species of bats foraging in the Nature Gardens: the Mexican Free-tailed Bat and a Myotis species. Detectors like the one we are using are a great way to passively monitor for bat activity. The device records the ultrasonic echolocations that bats make, allowing us to later convert them into sonograms (graphic representations of the sounds) that can be analyzed using special software. Since bat echolocations are species specific, we can identify the species of bat based on their sonogram. Attached is a sonogram from the Free-tailed Bat we recorded. More than 20 species of bats occur in the greater Los Angeles area, but most of them are thought to inhabit non-urban habitats like outlying deserts and mountains. The Free-tailed Bat and the Myotis Bat we just documented are new records for Exposition Park. They join just one other bat species previously documented here based upon prepared specimens in the Museum’s mammal collection: the Hoary Bat. Jim Dines, Mammalogy, Collections Manager Miguel Ordeñana, Lead Gallery Interpreter, Field Biology" After making this awesome discovery, Miguel added the sonogram as an observation to our L.A. Nature Map!
Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Tadarida brasiliensis