This course engages conservation professionals in developing skills, approaches, and solutions applicable to the assessment and monitoring of wild mammal populations including bats and terrestrial mammals of all sizes. The course will progress from components of study design to field data collection, data analysis, and the application of results to conservation and management.
Course participants work to open a mist-net for field sampling of local bats. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University
The curriculum includes:
- Review of mammalian diversity and taxonomy
- Distance sampling, camera trapping, andanimal tracking
- Bat mist-netting, harp traps, bat detectors and disease monitoring (e.g. white-nose syndrome)
- Small and large mammal trapping, handling, and marking
- Statistical analysis of field data on occupancy and abundance
- Application of field data to species management
- Museum voucher preparation
- Sample collection/storage for DNA, pathology and parasitology
This 12-day intensive course is led by Dr. Joe Kolowski (Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute) and Dr. Kris Helgen (National Museum of Natural History), who are joined by an expert group of guest instructors. Dr. Helgen’s recently published discovery of the Olinguito gained significant international attention, and relied on many of the techniques and approaches taught in this course. The course will include an exclusive tour of the National Zoo; the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute at Front Royal, Virginia; and the Museum of Natural History’s mammal range, which houses the world’s largest mammal collection.