A group of biologists from The Western Section of the Wildlife Society visited Catalina to survey old mines for rare bat species. Last year, the Conservancy completed a project installing gates on mines that contained extant bat colonies or ones that could potentially host bat colonies in the future. These gates prevent disturbance and may allow sensitive bat species like Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat to recolonize the mines. Biologists were able to capture a Townsend’s bat and collect a DNA sample for analysis. This sample will enter a genetic archive of western North American bats, helping researchers understand how bat genetics are changing as populations decline due to disturbance, disease, climate change and habitat loss.

Maintaining the health of Catalina’s wildlife by protecting and restoring the habitats they need to survive is a primary component of the Conservancy's mission.