THIS DAY IN SCIENCE: Fire, fire, Help! in 1903

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Give Bats a Place to Call Home

bat

««« By Luba Mycio-Mommers, PhD …

Curriculum Connection: Biology, most levels.

Boxes for Bats are Essential Habitat! The little brown bat is in serious trouble. You have heard us talk about white-nose syndrome (WNS) and how it’s wiping out entire colonies. Researchers predict that 99 per cent of these bats will disappear and become extinct in some areas of Canada by 2020. Right now, we have dozens of kids at the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s office building and installing bat houses across the property. One thing we noticed right away was that some students were squirming and saying “eww”. We want to change their “ewwww” to “cool!” or even “awwwwww”!

This is exactly why we must educate our children now about the ecological importance of bats. We’ve got to debunk all the myths surrounding these beneficial small mammals so that when our kids grow into adults they will not fear these amazing little creatures. The future of our wildlife depends on our kids.

That is why CWF is sending out 1,400 bat boxes to schools and groups across Canada for free with tons of resource materials like a poster and pamphlet with loads of bat and WNS facts. What’s the catch? The school/group will monitor their bat box and report to CWF monthly if they are, in fact, being used by the bats. A win-win!

Not only will this help create more habitat, but it will also help schools raise awareness about bats and WNS to their students. It will also educate kids on why bats are important so we can turn that “eww” into “bats are awesome!” The data collected from these schools will help CWF and our leading bat researcher, Karen Vanderwolf, with our current research on the little brown bat and WNS. They’ll literally be helping us turn the tide for bats.

For more information about our project, visit HelptheBats.ca.
“This is the fastest decline of wild animals ever observed in recorded history.”
~Craig Willis, Ph.D., University of Winnipeg

Luba Mycio-Mommers, PhD is the Director of Education at the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
For more information, visit the Canadian Wildlife Foundation website.

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