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Three men help unload a 20ft tall pole from a flatbed truck.
Information icon Staff members unload the new bat habitat poles. Photo by Moria Painter, USFWS.

Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery adds bat habitats

The next time you visit Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, you may notice some tall wood poles near the outdoor classroom and Hatchery Creek. In a joint effort with the Service’s field office in Frankfort, Kentucky, and Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, Wolf Creek added two new habitats to attract bats.

The artificial habitats consist of 20-foot wooden poles fitted with BrandenBark, an artificial bark designed to mimic a dead standing tree.

A tall pole partially covered in bark next to a garden
BrandenBark-covered pole installed near the outdoor classroom. Photo by Moria Painter, USFWS.

Kentucky is home to 16 documented species of bats, including the endangered Indiana bat. Not all of the bats roost in dead trees, but several will. Artificial roosts provide immediate habitat for bats. Bats are commonly seen at dusk, flying around the creek and the hatchery, doing their job helping to manage the insect populations. These new roosts will be monitored to obtain data on local bat populations. In addition, the habitat structures will provide opportunities for environmental education programs.

If the habitats are successful in attracting bats, more artificial bat roosts will be installed on site.

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