Great Lakes Bat Festival to take place at ISU in August

May 21 2007

Experts from around the Great Lakes Region will converge on the campus of Indiana State University this summer to promote bat conservation.

The sixth annual Great Lakes Bat Festival on Aug. 11 will include presentations about the benefits of bats, bat houses, bat research, bat conservation, public health, and much more.

The event will feature live bat programs by the Organization for Bat Conservation and will include local insect-eating bats,and large flying fox bats from Africa. The ISU Bat Center will introduce its first publication, “Bats of Indiana.”

The agenda includes talks by leading bat experts, conservation exhibits, an inflatable cave to explore, kids activities, story time for kids, a new U.S. Forest Service film “Cave: Life Beneath the Forest,” book authors, bat house information, and lots of bat merchandise for sale. Presentations will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in ISU’s Hulman Memorial Student Union. An evening family-style barbecue will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. in Dobbs Park on the eastern edge of Terre Haute. From 8 to 10 p.m., also in Dobbs Park, bat experts will demonstrate how bat research is conducted.

During the “Bat Science Night” experience, bat researchers will show bat netting, radio-tagging, bat detectors, light tagging, and much more.

Bat experts at the events including John O. Whitaker Jr., professor of ecology and organismal biology at Indiana State University and director of ISU’s Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation; Al Kurta; professor of biology at Eastern Michigan University; Rob Mies, director of the Organization for Bat Conservation at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Tim Carter, assistant professor of biology at Ball State University; Bill Scullon, wildlife biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Dale Sparks, research associate with the ISU Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation; Rod Foster, science teacher at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Livonia, Mich.: and Mike Frayer of the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Thanks to a generous grant from General Motors Corp., the cost to attend the festival, including Bat Science Night is free, but there will be a charge of $6 per person for the evening barbecue.

Contacts: Rob Mies, director, Organization for Bat Conservation, Cranbrook Institute of Science, (248) 645-3239 or obcbats@aol.com; Brianne Walters, Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation at Indiana State University, (812) 237-8294 or bwalters2@isugw.indstate.edu.

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Story Highlights

Indiana State University will host the sixth annual Great Lakes Bat Festival on Aug. 11. The event will feature live bag programs by the Organization for Bat Conservtion and ISU's Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation will introduce its first book, entitled "Bats of Indiana."

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