The Green Lake Bird and Nature Club will host a program at Town Square titled “The Bats of Wisconsin” on Monday, June 17 at 8:00 pm. This presentation by Tom Wagner will cover the eight species of bats found in Wisconsin, and provide information about their status and ecology, and discuss their great importance to the ecosystems of our state. He will provide information about identification, habitat, migration, and reproduction – as well as the benefits of bats to humans. Besides being voracious feeders on mosquitoes and other flying insects, they also serve an important role as seed dispersers.
One of the great concerns for several of our bat species has been the devastating appearance and spread of “White-nose Syndrome” – a fungal disease that affects cave bats during hibernation periods. This fungus was first detected in Wisconsin in the spring of 2014, and has resulted in great declines of various bat populations across the state. Of the eight species found in Wisconsin, four of them have been placed on the state’s Threatened List due to their drastic population losses.
Another topic of interest to many would be the potential concern about having bats living in your house, and what the homeowner can do to mitigate the situation (if you consider it a problem).
Many people have been building and erecting bat houses, which can be very beneficial and may help to encourage bats to live and feed in your area. Green Lake Renewal is considering putting up bat houses near the new Mill Pond Terrace project, to help provide insect control.
This presentation will take place upstairs in the Town Square Ballroom. Please note that an elevator is available for those who prefer to not climb the stairs.
Weather permitting, immediately following the presentation anyone interested in observing bats OUTDOORS is welcome to reconvene behind Town Square, near the Mill Pond. The presenter will demonstrate the use of acoustic monitoring and amplifying equipment, which will help to make any bats flying overhead audible! Bats use echolocation to navigate and hunt, and produce sounds that are in the ultrasonic range – which are typically beyond the capability of human hearing.
Tom Wagner has been studying and monitoring bats for many years, which is one of the ways that volunteers can contribute data to aid Wisconsin’s bat researchers. His retirement in 2013 has given him the chance to follow his passion of studying nature – with a strong desire to help improve our outdoor environments by serving as a citizen scientist. He is a trained and dedicated Master Naturalist, and he spends a great deal of time testing and monitoring the health of the streams in Green Lake’s watershed.