Bat Cave, Swamp Style
At the edge of the swamp, surrounded by bald cypress, this tupelo gum (Nyssa aquatica) provides a home for a colony of Southeastern Myotis (Myotis austroriparius). And what, you might well ask, is a myotis? It's a bat - a cute little bat - and this tree is full of them.
Treebeard happened upon this particular tree about five years ago while out surveying hollow trees. We've been keeping an eye on it ever since. Recently we installed a data-logger inside the hollow. The equipment will record temperature and humidity continually for a year. When we retrieve the packet we will send it to bat researchers who will then use this data, along with data from many other trees, to help them understand what makes a tree attractive to bats. In turn, this information may help the bat folks design better artificial roosts for bats.