National Wildlife Refuge System

Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning provides you with links to fun facts and info you can use for every
trip to our refuges.

Program of the Month

Visitors to national wildlife refuges usually make the trip during broad daylight. The cloak of night changes everything.

So finding wildlife after dark was a distinct treat for visitors who came to a special program in April at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, NV. Participants enjoyed "bat fruit salad" made with fruits pollinated by bats - peaches, mangoes, dates, figs and cashews.

Participants learned how to use ANABAT detectors to pick up the sounds of bats and analyze sound waves to determine bat species and behavior. Like birds, each bat species makes a unique call.

There was an attempt to catch a few live bats at a bat mist netting station but strong winds blew the net, making it noticeable to the bats. Dozens of western canyon bats flew around the audience but none was captured.

After dark, participants used blacklight flashlights to find scorpions among the rocks. A western banded gecko – typically hard to find because of their habit of burrowing underground – was visible on the rocks.