Stay in the know about wildlife, water quality, and ecosystems on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and in Southwest Florida

SCCF Begins Bat Monitoring

November 22, 2023
Mike With Bat Monitor

SCCF’s Wildlife and Habitat Management Department is now doing acoustic monitoring for bat species on Sanibel Island. In partnership with the Miami Bat Lab — a joint lab between Bat Conservation International and Zoo Miami — ultrasonic recording boxes are being placed around the island to determine which bat species occupy specific areas.

These boxes are able to detect and record the ultrasonic vocalizations bats emit. The recordings are analyzed using software to determine what species are in the area.

Bats are vital to any healthy environment and provide several ecosystem services — benefits that enhance the well-being of humans. The Brazilian free-tail bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) is a common bat species in southwest Florida and around North America. This fascinating creature weighs 7-12 grams and can eat up to 50-100% of its body weight in insects a night, which translates to a potential of 2,800 – 4,800 mosquitos per bat per night!

Not only are bats a great natural pest control, but they are essential pollinators and seed dispersers for many plant species including peaches, bananas, and agaves.

To report any bat sightings please email


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