The president of BCM, John Chenger, began studying caves across Pennsylvania in 1989. Drawn to project orientated caving, John actively mapped new caves in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, pursued cave photography, and facilitated cave rescue training. To date, he has visited over 1,200 different caves and mines in the United States, many involving technical rope work. Starting in 1990 or so John began working for the Pennsylvania Game Commission's non-game program and participated in various types of bat and Allegheny woodrat projects.
Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. began in 1999 in an effort to supply homeowners with an alternative to the low-end "nature shop" bat houses. BCM has made available a number different wooden bat houses including a Four Chamber, Seven Chamber, and Nine Chamber version. A Three Chamber (~80 bats) is available today, along with kit versions of both sizes. In 2003 we answered the call for an indestructible, easy to install long term bat roost with the Bat Can followed in 2006 with the large capacity Seven Chamber Steel bat houses, attractive to transportation and other agencies looking for long term habitat enhancement. As of 2016 our top of the line bat houses such as the Bat Bunker and 4 Chamber Premium are made of a rugged plastic exterior over a more traditional wood baffle roost core, providing a durable long lasting product requiring no maintenance. Early on we helped homeowners solve their bat "infestation" problems. BCM is among relatively few companies that provide specialty consulting and exclusion work with installation of 95% successful bat houses.
In 2000 BCM conducted the first radio telemetry projects aimed at tracking migrating Indiana bats in the northeast. Since then our main focus has been conducting summer mist net surveys, harp trap surveys, abandoned mine investigations, hibernaculm surveys, acoustic recording, and underground mapping. BCM is considered an Indiana bat specialist by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and our projects have spanned the entire United States. To date, Chenger has been responsible for over 700 nights of summer mist net survey. Each year BCM completes approximately 200 to 450 nights of mist net surveys within the summer Indiana bat season. BCM has been involved with a major spring migration radio telemetry project each year since 2000 and summer or fall telemetry nearly each season as well. BCM is recognized one of the best telemetry equipped organizations in the country for ground and aerial bat telemetry with Chenger being one of the most experienced Indiana bat trackers in the world. Since 2000 Chenger has been a guest instructor at many Bat Conservation International and Bat Survey Solutions workshops. In 2010 the PA Game Commission released a report on all Indiana bat contractors capture statistics for 2009, with BCM being at the top of the list for survey efficiency.
Interested in bats and the unique challenges posed by any attempt to study them, John has attempted to acquire, abuse, modify, test, and sometimes invent a number of tools used for bat research. Realizing there was a need to make these tools available in one location, Chenger hand picked the best of the obscure bat equipment to make available on this web site. Harp traps were initially begun in 2003 and development continues today. Mist net poles soon followed. In 2004 SonoBat and the Pettersson bat detector gear was added. The Triple High Forest Filter mist net set was being used in our surveys as early as 2000, and as a testament to the solid design, was offered virtually unchanged in 2005. Finally a useful infrared illuminator was found to work with the Sony NightShot cameras and offered here in 2005. In late 2008 the Pettersson D500x bat recorder was released providing a solution for long term acoustic monitoring. We also began shipping StenLight and Zebralight advanced headlamps, by far the staff favorite headlight in and out of a cave.
Although BCM works closely with many organizations and agencies, we are in no way affiliated, managed, or funded by them. Any view expressed within this web site do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization mentioned in this web site.