The sound of bats along the Kissimmee River
Yesterday, the South Florida Water Management District and newsmedia reported that Endangered Florida bonneted bats have been making sound waves along the Kissimmee River, far from its historic range near Miami.
The Florida bonneted bat is distinguished by its large size: from 4.9 to 6.5 inches long, with a wingspan of almost 20 inches. Unusually large broad ears slant forward over the eyes, like a bonnet. See article from FloridaToday.com Photo by Ralph Arwood available at Florida Bat Conservancy.
According to the SFWMD September 16, 2008 press release: "The Florida Bat Conservancy, under contract with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), identified the bats while gathering data about bat species occurrence and population levels in the southwest region of the state. Using the surveys results, plans are being developed to enhance bat habitat on South Floridas public lands. Discovering the presence of Florida bonneted bats (Eumops floridanus) in the Kissimmee region is a major finding, according to the Florida Bat Conservancy. The nearest previously known location is more than 50 miles to the southwest in the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area, which is owned and managed by the FWC. In the bat survey, conservancy staff documented the bonneted bats well north of Lake Okeechobee, on the Kissimmee River Public Use Area and Kissimmee Island Cattle Company (KICCO) properties."
Seems that the Kissimmee River Restoration must be working.