VHB is working with New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA) to analyze acoustic bat data collected during surveys at various NJDMAVA facilities from 2009 through 2021 and standardize the metadata and call files for upload to the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat). NABat is managed in part by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and collects data across the continent to monitor bats at local to range wide scales with the intent to provide reliable data to promote effective conservation measures and decision making that will provide for the long-term viability of bat populations. Researchers, regulators, public lands managers, and other interested parties can request, download, and analyze data submitted to NABat. This data is particularly important when the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) evaluates a species’ distribution when determining listing status under the United States Endangered Species Act.
VHB has compiled and formatted the metadata to NABat standards for survey efforts dating back to 2009 and analyzed files via auto-classification software approved by USFWS. VHB has also collaborated with NABat to develop a methodology to manually vet a subset of data from each survey since it would be cost-prohibitive to manually vet the entire 10+ year data set. VHB is working with a subconsultant to complete the manual vetting and verify the presence or probable absence of bat species recorded during the survey efforts. VHB has also consolidated NABat protocols and tailored them to the specificities of the NJDAMVA dataset to develop a standard operating procedure that can be used for future data analysis and upload efforts. This project will consolidate several years of bat survey data and make it more readily usable as a reference source by the New Jersey Army National Guard when new activities must consider potential impacts on state and federally-listed bat species.