The Bat Fieldworker’s course provides opportunities for participants to learn how to conduct fieldwork with the focus on working with bats. The course has been designed to be hands-on and practical. You will learn different capture techniques, how to collect data during fieldwork, how to analyse the data collected and to write this data up. By examining different field techniques, we hope to skill our students in best practice so that they may implement these skills in their own study areas and research projects.

Prerequisites: Participants of this course are expected to have completed the Introduction to Bat Ecology, Biology, Conservation and Identification course and have participated in a minimum of 10 batting events as an observer. The Introduction course will be held two weeks prior to the Fieldworker’s course to provide participants with the opportunity to meet the prerequisites. Students who attend both the Introduction and Fieldworker’s courses will, therefore, spend a 5-week period in the field. All participants must provide proof that they have had rabies pre-exposure and tetanus inoculations. This is non- negotiable, as you will be handling live bats in the field.

Additionally, you must be fit and be prepared to work on average 16-18hrs per day/night. Course participants are also expected to assist with catering and cleaning duties at the research station.

Duration: 21 days

Venues: This course is undertaken at the Meletse Bat Research and Conservation Training Centre (near Thabazimbi).

Skills developed:

  • Scientific thinking and writing
  • Basic GIS
  • Species richness and estimators
  • Setting up mist nets and harp traps
  • Removal of live bats from mist nets and harp traps
  • Handling and measurements of live bats
  • Capture and recording of biological information from captured bats
  • Analysis of information recorded & biological statistic using captured data
  • Bat detectors and call analysis (Building an echolocation call library)
  • Report results

You could walk away with:

Participants will have the opportunity to attempt their Bat Field Worker certification, by successfully completing theoretical and practical assessments. Students who have successfully completed the Fieldworker’s course will also be considered for possible placement as volunteers or short-term contracts (where appropriate) on other AfricanBats field-based projects. Academic supervisors are also more inclined to accept students with prior bat field experience seeking to conduct research projects in bat-related fields.

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Cost: Please contact us for course rates.