Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
SAN FRANCISCO BAY: Collaboration of Art and Science Provides New Bat Habitat
California-Nevada Offices , October 13, 2007
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Bat silo ribbon cutting at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR (Photo: USFWS)
Bat silo ribbon cutting at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR (Photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

Neighbors of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge recently joined Refuge staff and the local environmental sculptors known as Meadowsweet Dairy, to celebrate the beginning of a new life for an old grain silo.

The completion of this project is truly an example of collaboration between art and science. Once slated to be torn down, the cement silo was saved from demolition when Meadowsweet Dairy took on the task of retrofitting it as bat habitat.

Bat populations are under severe pressure due to habitat loss and pollution. Seven of the 45 species of bats living in the U.S. are in danger of becoming extinct. Saving habitat, educating the public, and physically protecting these unique and wonderful creatures may help prevent that loss.

Several species of bats might make their home in the silo, including: Mexican free-tailed bats, Yuma bats, big brown bats and possibly pallid bats and Townsend's big-eared bats. In addition to providing habitat for bats, the silo also provides new nesting habitat for swallows and white-throated swifts.

The old grain silo, originally built in 1917, is the only remaining building left from a short-lived period of farming on a 123-acre tract of land known as Mayhew's Landing. The Refuge acquired the Mayhew's Landing tract in 1995 because it provided important habitat for migratory birds and the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse. Since then, this small parcel of land has been colonized by the California clapper rail, another endangered species found only in San Francisco Bay marshlands.

The Refuge manages this area as a sanctuary to enhance habitat for native wildlife and to encourage species diversity. The silo conversion project will further diversify and enhance wildlife habitat here.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony and bat silo open house were key events during the 2007 National Wildlife Refuge Week celebrations held at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  Over 70 people attended.   



Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov
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