Bat identification and taxonomy training workshop

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15 - 19 January 2018

This training workshop, hosted by The Livingstone Museum, sought to provide the basic skills to identify bats using morphometric methods and to give an insight into bat taxonomy and classification.

The training was provided by Dr Paul Bates from the Harrison Institute, United Kingdom and Dr Rachael Cooper-Bohannon from Bats without Borders, Malawi.

During the workshop, the identities of nearly 50% of the bat specimens held in the collections of the Livingstone Museum were reassessed. For every specimen, a level of confidence in the identification was given. This will be used to determine which specimens can be used to match doubtful identifications against when carrying out molecular analysis for a second confirmation of the taxonomic identification.

Topics covered included:

  • Introduction and overview of bat identification and nomenclature
  • Practical training in using dichotomous and matrix keys to identify bat families and genera
  • Taking measurements from study skins and skulls
  • Understanding the technical terms for various skin and skull characters
  • An introduction to the various literature resources available for the identification of Zambian bats
  • An introduction to the species of 6 families of Zambian bats
  • Understanding the importance of using a range of characters to determine identification
  • Practical training using skin and skull characters to identify bat species
  • How to assess the accuracy of a particular identification, especially based on incomplete specimens of cryptic species
  • How to identify live individuals based on morphometric characters
  • Comparison of external characters in preserved specimens and live individuals (as part of a one evening field survey)
  • How to take biopsy punches from live specimens for molecular analysis to determine species identity
  • How to record acoustic characters of echolocating bats in the field to facilitate non-invasive surveys

2 8.Practical training using skin and skull characters to identify bat species 9.How to assess the accuracy of a particular identification, especially based on incomplete specimens of cryptic species 10.How to identify live individuals based on morphometric characters 11.Comparison of external characters in preserved specimens and live individuals (as part of a one evening field survey) 12.How to take biopsy punches from live specimens for molecular analysis to determine species identity 13.How to record acoustic characters of echolocating bats in the field to facilitate non-invasive surveys

Venue
Livingstone Museum
Country
Zambia
When
15 January 2018 09:00 - 19 January 2018 17:00