What We Do

Bat Research

Bats are the second most diverse group of mammals in the world. There are over 900 known species, eight of which are found in Wisconsin. Bats provide important ecosystem services like insect control and pollination. Unfortunately, White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a deadly fungal infection, is spreading through North America at an alarming rate killing hundreds of thousands of bats.

big brown bat photo by Joe MeyerBig brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), with a wingspan of 12-16 inches and an average weight of about an ounce, aren't actually all that big! Photo: Joe Meyer

In collaboration with the Wisconsin DNR, the Urban Ecology Center is helping researchers determine baseline bat population dynamics using high-tech Anabat detectors that identify bats by recording their ultrasonic calls. A stationary detector records year-round from Riverside and mobile detectors help community researchers monitor bats on properties throughout Southeast Wisconsin. A GPS unit allows us to plot survey locations, as well as the time, location and often species identification of the bats we encounter.

If you are interested in helping the Urban Ecology Center research and monitor bats, please contact Maggie Steinhauer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on Wisconsin’s bats and WNS, please visit: http://wiatri.net/inventory/bats/

bat monitoring
Teaching budding community scientists about the Anabat acoustic bat detector.

The Urban Ecology Center’s bat research has received valuable funding from:

  • The Citizen-based Monitoring Network of the Wisconsin DNR’s Partnership Program.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Research Initiative
  • And by a generous donation from Verne and Marion Read

The Center has also received collaborative support from the Wisconsin DNR, Escuela Verde, Mequon Nature Preserve and the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

Show you value bats in our urban ecosystem with a gift!

Donate Today!



Email Sign-Up


* indicates required
Which Emails would you like to receive?

Connect Now

facebook instagram 2018 2 twitter linkedin

Get Involved

Hive Module