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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Going Batty Over Bats!

   father and daughter building bat house
Service employee Mitch Adams and daughter Elouise build a bat house. Photo by USFWS  

Bats need our help. Habitat loss, severe weather and the devastating disease white-nose syndrome are all wreaking havoc on bat populations. Fortunately, there are many ways to help, and recently D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives in Spearfish, South Dakota, went to bat for bats. 

The “Build a Bat House!” event last month attracted more than 50 people, many of whom were families with children. It kicked off with a very informative presentation by bat biologist Joel Tigner. Tigner conducts bat research and work all over the world. He shared information on bats in general, his international work and bats in South Dakota. South Dakota has 47 types of bats!

Following the presentation, people could help build a bat house or make a bat craft to take home. Parts for the bat houses were pre-cut and stained. Participants worked with volunteers and staff to assemble 16 bat houses. The houses will be installed on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acreage in western South Dakota. Participants could elect to build the bat house for the BLM to use (no cost to the participant), or they could pay $15 to build a bat house to take home with them to install on their personal property. Twelve bat houses were purchased for personal use; four will be put up on BLM land.

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