Doctoral biology student Angelo Soto-Centeno explains his research into how climate change has affected the diversity of bat populations across the Caribbean. He also describes the two methods researchers use to catch the bats.

There are two safe ways to catch bats. A net on a long stick, like a butterfly net, is used to scoop bats out of a cave space. The other way to catch bat is with a mist net. Very similar to a fishing net. It is a very fine mesh that bats have a hard time detecting.

Interview and videos produced by Jessica Southard & Peter Byatt for Explore Research at the University of Florida.


Angelo Soto-Centeno: Here at the University of Florida I studied the effects of historical climate change on bat populations across the Caribbean. To catch these bats on these islands we use two primary methods, one of them is using a hen net. The hand net is just very similar to a butterfly net with the exception that has a really really long pole that extends 15 feet.

When we go into a cave we use our headlamps and gloves, we walk into a bell hole where the bats are roosting and basically scoop up the bats with the nets. Once we actually get a number of bats we roll up the net and bring all the 15 feet of pole down. We take each individual back out, assess if they’re male or female and also the general health as well as if we can use them or not for a research. If we can we’ll put them safely in a really comfortable cloth bag until we get to use them.

The other method of catching bats is the use of a mist net. This is very similar to a fishing net if you may, it’s a really really fine string that it’s attached to two poles it extends about eight feet tall from the ground and it’s almost invisible to these bats. As bats flying through a corridor they are not able to detect the net easily they actually get tangled in the net. From then we actually untangle the bats, put them in a cloth bag and wait until we see if they can actually be used for a research.

Learn more about Mammals Collection at the Florida Museum

Explore Research at the University of Florida

You Might Also Like