Workshop on Protecting and Enhancing Bat Populations to Help With Pest Control on the Farm

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Big brown bat

Big brown bat. Photo by Jim White, Delaware Nature Society.

The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop on Protecting and Enhancing Bat Populations to Help with Pest Control on the Farm from 7:00-9:30 p.m. on Monday August 3 at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. The workshop will be taught by UNC-Greensboro biologist and bat expert Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell (see bio below).

This will be a kid-friendly workshop so children ages 7 and up are encouraged to attend!

There are approximately 11 species of bats in the piedmont region of North Carolina and all of them eat insects, including mosquitoes and many important agricultural pests like corn earworms, stink bugs, cucumber beetles, planthoppers, and much more. Pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats in the United States likely save the U.S. agricultural industry at least $3 billion a year, and this is a conservative estimate. A large colony of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) can eat 18 million corn rootworms each summer, while a single evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis) can consume over 20,000 insects annually.

AGENDA:

Bats in your Backyard: Biology, Ecology, and Relevance to Farmers and Agriculture

  • Bats as fascinating mammals
  • Resources that bats need for survival
  • Bats as insect consumers in piedmont food webs
  • Specific species on piedmont farms
  • Ways to attract bats to your farm or garden
  • Threats to piedmont bats
  • What you can do for bat conservation

Q&A Session

On-Site Bat Observation Session with Bat Detectors (weather permitting)

Advance registration is required by July 29. The cost of the workshop is $10 per person (kids are free). Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos for more information. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check.

Download a registration formPlease fill out the form on-line, then print it and mail with your check.  Registration deadline is July 29!

Speaker:

Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell is a Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She teaches courses in Animal Behavior and Vertebrate Zoology and has a research program centered on the ecology and behavior of North American forest-dwelling bats and mice. She has done field research for 25 years where she uses remote sensing methods to, among other things, record ultrasound produced by bats and mice to understand how human activities influence individual behaviors, population dynamics, and community structure of bats and mice. She regularly speaks to the public about the biology and conservation of bats and mice that live, both literally and figuratively, in their back yard. She received her undergraduate and MS degrees at the University of Regina, PhD at the University of Western Ontario, and post-doctoral training at the University of California at Berkeley.