Carroll County Shale Development Slowed by Bats

Several sources from the oil and gas industry have told us over the past couple of weeks that their work in Carroll County is being inhibited by Indiana bat breeding season.

In what may seem like an odd reason to have such a big-dollar industry grind to a halt in such a potentially lucrative area, we've heard that from April 15 to June 3 companies are not permitted to clear right-of-ways because of the bats spring migration.

From Wikipedia:
Spring migration can begin as early as late March, but most Indiana bats do not leave their winter hibernacula until late April to early May. Females emerge from hibernacula first, usually between late March and early May. Most males do not begin to emerge until mid- to late April. Females arrive at summer locations beginning in mid-April. Females form summer nursery colonies of up to 100 adult females during summer. Males typically roost alone or in small bachelor groups during the summer. Many males spend the summer near their winter hibernacula, while others migrate to other areas, similar to areas used by females.
Females can mate during their 1st fall, but some do not breed until their 2nd year. Males become reproductively active during their 2nd year.  Breeding occurs in and around hibernacula in fall. During the breeding season, Indiana bats undergo a phenomenon known as swarming.
During this activity, large numbers of bats fly in and out of caves from sunset to sunrise. Swarming mainly occurs during August to September and is thought to be an integral part of mating. Bats have been observed copulating in caves until early October. During the swarming/breeding period, very few bats are found roosting within the hibernacula during the day. Limited mating may also occur at the end of hibernation.
Fertilization does not occur until the end of hibernation, and gestation takes approximately 60 days. Parturition occurs in late May to early July. Female Indiana bats typically give birth to one pup. Juveniles are weaned after 25 to 37 days and become volant (able to fly) at about the same time. Most young can fly by early to late July, but sometimes do not fly until early August. 

While it's good that they're waiting for the bats to move on, it definitely is a source of frustration for the workers.

Speaking of bats, and yet somehow on an entirely different topic, The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20th.  Looks good.

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