PCMBe (Programa de conservacion de los murciélagos de Belice) is a representing group of qualified professionals assisting in the RELCOM goal of conservation, monitoring and protection of the bat species of Belize. We operate on the 200 acres of private land located in the Maya Mountain foothills that is Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Center, where we contribute to the conservation of bat species of Belize through education, research and monitoring.
How we do this
Bat mist netting
This is the trapping technique of capturing bats with 12 m to 6 m long mist nets of a fine nylon material. The mist nets have 5 trammel layers with pockets and are strung up using metal poles. Typically we set them up at emergence (sunset) when bats are the most active coming out from their day time sleeping quarters, the bats don’t sense the nets as they are made from such fine material and get caught in the pockets, we check the nets every 15 mins as bats have good teeth and can easily eat there wayout!
Once the bats have been extracted data is recorded such as their species, age, sexual status and parasite level and we label them with a temporary auxiliary marker to know if we re-catch the same bat.
Bats use echolocation to navigate and hunt, echolocation is in the ultrasonic range which means it is above human hearing. Bat echolocation calls are recorded and analysed to identify species.
Here at T.R.E.E.S we operate facilities to allow professionals and studying students to gather data and write scientific publications on their findings. We also host regular workshops and events educating international and residential students of different ecological field techniques developing their skills. Our community outreach programs invite local people and younger children to take part in activities and learn about the flora and fauna of Belize.
PCMBe would really like to further its bat monitoring and data collection program by launching an arboreal bat roost monitoring program. We will use bat detectors and acoustic monitoring to identify preferred habitat location for roosting sites taking data on tree types that can be correlated with species within the 200 acres of T.R.E.E.S property, future success will depend on our ability to expand the program into different areas of the Sibun forest reserve.