Bats are Wisconsin’s most important predator of night-flying insects (including mosquitoes), essential players in maintaining balance in the food web and, frankly, just plain fascinating. For decades Peninsula State Park has harbored a significant bat nursery colony, one of the largest in the state. With the threat of deadly white-nose syndrome and loss of habitat, monitoring the size and health of the nursery colony is important. You can be involved in summer monitoring efforts – it’s easy and fun.
Peninsula is hosting a Bat Monitoring Workshop on Wednesday, February 22, from 2 – 3:30 p.m. Meet at the Gibraltar Town Fire Department at 3496 County Road F. This program is free and open to the public. Bill Mueller of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory is the lead presenter. He’ll share information on bat ecology and biology, threats to bats, the reasons why bat monitoring is becoming important, and will show how to use ANABAT units. Mueller will also be speaking with Gibraltar High School’s Ecology Club the same day.
Participants will have the option of “adopt” a bat monitoring site for 2012, and be part of a state-wide effort to save Wisconsin bats. Monitoring bats is a great family activity, too. You can count bats once a summer, or once a week – all monitoring efforts are worthwhile. Bat monitoring can also fulfill high school graduation service hour requirements.
If you need more information call Naturalist Kathleen Harris at 920-854-5976 or email firstname.lastname@example.org