FORT LARAMIE – Fort Laramie National Historic Site is known far and wide for its military history, Native American homelands, fur trade era, famous emigrant trails, including the Oregon, California, and Mormon Pioneer Trails and the Pony Express. In the past few years, the Fort has also been highlighting its significant natural resources.
The most recent resource brief released by the Northern Great Plains (Inventory & Monitoring) Network documents important bat activity at Fort Laramie NHS. The research employed acoustic monitoring techniques to identify and quantify the eight confirmed species of bats present within the park.
A total of 142,807 bat call recordings over 95 nights in 2015 and 2016 were analyzed to identify bat species using specialized software. Three other species are likely to occur in the park, but were not confirmed through the recordings.
The survey results indicated Fort Laramie NHS has the highest rate of bat activity of any of the thirteen national park units in the Northern Great Plains Network. Visitors can pick up the new resource brief at the Visitor Center or at https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/Reference/Profile/2242657. Visitors can enjoy a special bat program at the Fort each summer and hear the echolocation sounds that these ecologically-critical creatures make.
There is a new land bird resource brief available as well, also produced by NGPN. The Network provides an invaluable service to the NPS by inventorying and monitoring natural resources at national park units, helping inform management strategies and providing educational experiences for park visitors.