UW Bat Brigade

The UW Bat Brigade

Bats are vital components to a healthy Wisconsin landscape. Globally, they provide vital ecosystem services like pest control, seed dispersal, and plant pollination. Wisconsin bat populations are severely threatened by habitat destruction, climate change, and White Nose Syndrome, a fungal infection, that has killed millions of bats in the United States.

The UW Bat Brigade is a collective of students and professionals who are interested in monitoring bat populations on campus. The Bat Brigade is a Biocore collaboration with the Wisconsin Bat Program, an initiative developed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Using tools like echolocation recorders and thermal imaging cameras, Bat Brigade members are establishing a long-term campus data set that will inform research questions about population sizes, habitat use, and migration patterns.  The data collected during each Bat Brigade survey is included in statewide and national bat monitoring efforts. The Bat Brigade hopes to contribute to the recovery effort by helping biologists monitor local bat populations while engaging UW students in the scientific process.

The Brigade is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join in.  All are welcome on echolocation hikes.  To learn more or get involved, contact Seth McGee (Seth.McGee@wisc.edu)

Join the Brigade:         

– Collaborate with wildlife biologists

– Go on night hikes with friends

– Gain field research experience

– Gain leadership experience as a Bat Brigade Officer

– Share findings at professional meetings and public outreach events

– Help protect our bats!


Data map detailing one Bat Brigade survey. Courtesy Andrew Badje, WiDNR.

Biocore student using an ultrasonic bat detector.



Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve

Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve