Davey Resource Group was contracted by GAI Environmental Consultants, Inc. in 2012 to complete an Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) presence/absence mist-net survey along a 19.4-mile proposed natural gas pipeline corridor in Gilmer and Ritchie Counties, West Virginia pipeline. Dominion Transmission, Inc. planned to replace the natural gas pipeline along this corridor and impact approximately 50 feet of forested edge along this corridor during construction.
In the spring, Davey completed an initial reconnaissance study to determine proper site locations for mist-net placement and gather data to prepare a study plan for the client to use during coordination with federal and state agencies. Davey carefully planned this study and ensured that study procedures followed guidelines recommended by the Indiana Bat Recovery Team and endorsed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife. This was especially important to protect against the spread of White-Nose Syndrome.
Mist-net sites were chosen in areas deemed as appropriate habitat for the Indiana bat; a total of 42 net sites were surveyed. Up to 3 survey crews worked simultaneously to complete this project within the specified timeframe. The fieldwork to complete the mist-net surveys spanned a period of approximately 2 months. During the mist-net survey, Davey provided progress updates to the client on a regular basis so that any obstacles or findings were clearly communicated. All mist-net locations were mapped using GPS and depicted on aerial photographs.
A total of 378 bats of 7 different species were captured during this study; however, no Indiana bats were caught. Upon completion of the fieldwork, Davey Resource Group prepared a detailed report of the findings of the mist-net survey per the requirements of state and federal regulatory agencies.