Batwatch trips are a new concept in bat appreciation worldwide, whereby a small group of participants will spend a week or more in one area, studying and identifying bats, as part of much-needed survey work. This benefits the host country and allows regional biologists to include bat data in conservation planning.
Biologically, this remote site is spectacularly diverse. Over 700 species of birds have been recorded here, but to date the bats are very poorly known. Traveling in the interior of Bosawas is only possible on foot or by boat. We will be entering deep into the reserve by boat, at the most accessible time of year, early dry season, when the high water levels should allow us good access. Our trip will enable Nicaraguan biologists including Arnulfo Medina the opportunity to enter the one region they have not yet explored. Together we will conduct an important initial survey of bats and other small mammals.
Daily Itinerary see: 2013 BATWATCH Nicaragua II
We will travel in small motor boats into the interior, staying in basic dwellings (for example Kilambe hostel, shown left) or in our own hammocks under a large tarp. We’ll eat local food (mostly beans and rice), spend long hours in the field and lack most basic amenitites. This trip is not for those requiring comfort!
Each day after breakfast, we will divide into teams and set out into the forest looking for roosting bats in hollow trees or branches, under fallen logs, in tents of large leaves, and under banks or in crevices. After lunch we will have some free time to relax and make notes before we split up again into two or three teams to set up nets and traps at different locations in the forest. Some nets will be set around prospective roost sites; a high net will be set across a forest trail or clearing for free-tailed bats. Other nets may be positioned over water where we should catch Greater Fishing Bats and other species.
If you want to really experience one of the last remaining wilderness areas in Central America while living like a local resident, and if you love bats and want to know more about them, this trip may be for you.
Tour Leaders and Assistants
Fiona Reid. Author of mammals of Central America and southeast Mexico, tour guide and leader of numerous nature tours and bat workshops worldwide. Arnulfo Medina. Nicaraguan bat biologist specialising in ecology of bats and small mammals and their use of corridors, coffee plantations and second growth. Milton Salazar. Nicaraguan biologist/naturalist with great knowledge and interest in all fauna especially herps.
Dates: January 4 to January 16, 2013
Cost per person: US $ 2,150.00 from Managua, Nicaragua (based on group of 10-12)
An accomplished writer and artist, Fiona is the author and illustrator of A Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America. She has written and/or illustrated numerous other guides, including A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico, The Golden Guide to Bats of the World, Bats of Papua New Guinea, and Mammals of the Neotropics (volumes 1-3).
She is a Departmental Associate in Mammalogy at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto, Canada. Fiona is also President of Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club in Georgetown, Ontario.
Fiona lives on the Niagara Escarpment in southern Ontario with two children and an assortment of pets.