Join the Friends of Kootenai Wildlife Refuge on Friday, July 12, for a presentation on the bat population at the refuge. The presentation, which will take place at the Environmental Education Center at the Wildlife Refuge, will begin at 7pm and is open to the public.
Leading the presentation is Jenny Barnett, a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Jenny will be providing general information on bats and the types of bats found on the refuge.
“We have used acoustic detectors to identify what species of bats use the refuge,” explained Jenny on how they monitor the population. “We monitor the number of bats roosting in a bat box on the refuge by doing an ‘emergence’ count. We sit quietly outside the roost at sundown and count the bats as they fly out of the box to go feed.”
Surprisingly, there are many different species of bats, and according to Jenny, over one-fifth of the mammals worldwide are bats. “There are 14 bat species in Idaho, and we have detected 12 of them on Kootenai Wildlife Refuge,” she said.
In the past, when compared to different wildlife refuges in the Pacific Region, Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge observed the greatest number of species even though it is one of the smallest in land area. This has been attributed to the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge’s variety of environments and geographical location.
The Friends of Kootenai Wildlife Refuge is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge in its efforts to protect, manage and conserve wildlife through education and conservation. The organization also fosters an appreciation of Boundary County’s abundant natural resources.
To learn more on how you can support them through memberships, donations or purchases, visit FriendsofKootenaiNationalWildlifeRefuge.org.