Programs for 2015

Bat Man and Bat Woman Come to Holden


Saturday, April 11 at 11AM at the Holden Senior Center.

Where have all the bats in the Northeast gone?

This nature education program is offered by White Oak Land Conservation Society, Holden's land trust, as part of its long-running Wildlife Saturdays series. The series have brought such wildlife as wolves, beavers, raptors, owls, snakes, bears and coyote--sometimes even live ones!--to teach local audiences about the wildlife which shares Central Massachusetts with us. All Wildlife Saturday programs are free and open to naturalists of all ages.

Bat man and Bat Woman are Dr. Jonathan Reichard and Christina Kocer who are naturalists at the U. S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Services at Hadley, MA. Both are students of bats who are researching the White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal illness which has killed 90% of the bats in the Northeast over the last decade. Dr. Reichard is National Fish and Wildlife Coordinator for WNS; Ms. Kocer is Northeast coordinator for WNS.

Bats are the tiniest of mammals who share more traits with humans than they do with mice. Their skills include echolocation, the ability to know where they are by sending sound signals through the air as they fly. During a night while humans are sleeping, a bat can eat half of its weight in insects, with mosquitos their favorite food. Bats reproduce as slowly as humans, at the rate of one bat infant born to a mother during a year. They live and hibernate in caves and behind house shutters. But now, instead of being an imagined threat to humans, they themselves are in danger of extinction from the very real disease, WNS.

White Oak is Holden's Land Trust, founded in 1978 to preserve open space in the Holden area. Almost 500 acres of field and forest, in 18 locations are under its protection.

This presentation about bats is funded in part by the Holden Cultural Commission, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Copyright 2011 White Oak Land Conservation Society