The Bat Cave is an educational event about bats held during Bat Week. This event teaches attendees about the beneficial impacts that bats have on humans and the ecosystem. In addition, it promotes the fact that bat are not "scary," as often depicted, but actually provide things like pest control, fruit pollination (like bananas!), and incredible biodiversity.
This year’s Bat Cave, hosted by the Cordova Ranger District, occurred on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. SCA intern, Haley Smith poses with one of the Bat Cave attendees, Jon Bowman.
|Photo by USFS, Kate Mclaughlin|
Those who entered the cave learned about echolocation, habitats that bats call home, and why bats hang upside down! After traversing through the bat cave there were a variety of other stations to explore.
Those who were hungry could visit the cookie decorating station. Here visitors could decorate their own bat shaped cookie while learning about bats favorite snacks and their importance as insectivores and pollinators.
|Exploring the bat cave. Photo by USFS, Kate McLaughlin|
A coloring station provided attendees the opportunity to unleash their inner creativity. Finished pieces (flying bats) could be taken home or displayed on the wall.
Another creativity station provided supplies for participants to make their own bat ears. Kids learned how bats rely heavily on their ears and reemphasized their use of echolocation.
|Decorating a bat cookie. Photo by USFS, Kate McLaughlin.|
Participants could view “The Secret Life of Bats” video at their leisure.
Once it was time to leave, the final stop was “The Abandoned Mine Shaft”. The elevator was transformed into a dark, bat filled mine shaft that provided the perfect opportunity to teach about the importance of man-made structures to bats, other habitats that are important to bats, as well as white nose syndrome and echolocation.
Forestry Tech Nathan Wesley helps attendee make bat ears.
Photo by USFS, Kate McLaughlin
Approximately 150 people participated in this year’s event. Thanks to Haley Smith, SCA intern, who coordinated this year’s event. Special thanks to all those who helped make this event a success: Nick Docken (Wildlife Technician), Nathan Wesley (Forestry Technician), Maura Schumacher (Copper River Watershed Volunteer), Kate Mclaughlin (Front Desk Assistant), and Melissa Gabrielson (Wildlife Biologist).
|Bat friends. Photo by SCA intern Haley Smith.|