Ambience: Malaysian Rainforest
â€œSo, we donâ€™t know how many bats from last night to release here. So, weâ€™re just going to take our merry bandâ€
â€œIt’s the morning after the night before, as it were, in bat land.â€
Welcome to Pulse of the Planetâ€™s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Biologist Tigga Kingston is studying bats in Malaysia, a region known for its diversity of bat species. She and her team regularly catch, tag, and release bats.
â€œIt’s about eight oâ€™clock in the morning and I’m all geared up to go in and check the traps again. We’ve also got the bats that we brought back to lab last night to release, so they get to home today after spending a night in the lab.â€
So how do you store and transport a trapped bat?
â€œOk guys, do you want to head up to the next one?â€
â€œHow we keep the bats, is each bat goes into an individual cloth bag. And it’s just a white, rectangular, cloth bag. It’s got enough room for them to hang on the sides. And it’s got a loop of string, which should be big enough to tie off the top of the bag and then hang around your neck, so your hands are free. Because one of the problems is we’re not on very even terrain, so when you’re bringing bats back, the last thing you want to do is go and land on the ground with a bunch of squashed bats underneath you. So, you need your hands free. So the bats are kept in these little bat bags, and they one bag each – partly so that we know where each individual has come from. And partly so that — sometimes bats, if theyâ€™re a different species and they’re in the same bag, they don’t always get on. So we don’t want any fighting. And then also finally, if you’ve got two bats in the bag, when it comes to getting them out it gets a bit tricky, making sure you’ve only got the one you want and the other one isn’t making a bid for freedom.â€
Ambience: Sound of bat being taken out of bag
â€œOff he goesâ€
Now that the batâ€™s out of the bag, we invite you to visit pulseplanet.com for more information on Tigga Kingstonâ€™s research. Pulse of the Planetâ€™s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. Iâ€™m Jim Metzner.