Searching for Bonnie

After three years of searching in the Big Cypress National Preserve we have found a roost of the Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus). Our acoustic monitors lead us to an old woodpecker tree at Raccoon Point. On two occasions we peeped the cavities in this tree but did not see any bats. Because the accoustic monitors kept leading us back to this tree and bat guano was found at the base of the tree we decided to stake it out at emergence time.  Last night, 27 minutes after sunset the first bat emerged.  Over the next hour, ten more bats followed. Their size and recorded calls confirmed that they are Bonneted bats.

Deborah Jansen peeping for bats.

The roost tree.

Video of the bats emerging.

Peeping the cavity at 55 feet.

The camera is custom made by Emmett L. Blankenship, DVM,MS.

Bat Conservation International provided the camera to The Big Cypress National Preserve. 


At the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary we use prescribed burning to maintain healthy habitats. The pine flatwoods are a fire depend community. The pines and palmettos are fire tolerant. Without fire they would be replaced by hardwoods over time. Burning every few years keeps the fuel load down so that there is less risk of a dangerous wildfire during our frequent summer lightning storms.

Conducting a safe burn requires a lot of planning and preparation, the correct weather and skilled personnel. Below is a sample of what it is like working the fire line.

© Ralph Arwood 2017