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White Nose Destroying Bat Population

Eagle Scout candidate works to protect Brookfield's bats.

There are many myths about bats. These myths give bats a bad reputation that they don't deserve! Common myths include: bats are blind, all bats have rabies, bats attack people, bats fly into people's hair, bats are pests, vampire bats latch on and suck blood from people. Come learn the truth from fiction about bats.

A free public seminar about bats will be held on Tuesday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the (BHS) Auditorium. The featured speaker will be State of Connecticut Supervising Wildlife Biologist, Ms. Jen Dickson. Christian Ball, a 17-year-old Brookfield High School senior is organizing the event as part of his Boy Scout Troop 5 Eagle project to raise awareness about the importance of bats and about White Nose Syndrome, a disease that has drastically reduced the bat population in New England. 

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages.

Mr. Ball’s project involves putting on this event, distributing an edited version of the presentation on YouTube, and building and installing bat houses around Brookfield. Bat houses provide an alternative safe location for bats to live and reproduce while providing a far less chance of human interaction. 

Jenny Dickson, DEP Supervising Wildlife Biologist, said, "White Nose Syndrome [WNS] continues to have a catastrophic effect on bats. Just three short years ago, one of Connecticut’s largest hibernacula had over 3,300 wintering bats. This year fewer than a dozen remain — all but one showed active signs of WNS. The outlook for their survival is grim."

"When you put together the massive die-offs in our hibernacula and the continued spread of WNS in the northern hemisphere, the news is not good," said Dickson. "Bats live long lives and reproduce in small numbers — so there is no doubt that WNS will have a major impact on our bat population and on the biodiversity and ecosystems throughout the US and Canada for decades to come."

Everyone is welcome to join us for a batty night, full of what possibly could be the most interesting animals alive. Get there early for the best seating! Food and beverages will be available!

Christian Ball — Troop 5 — Information & Details call: 203-885-5611 or visit our website: www.brookfieldtroop5.org.

Fred Ball May 21, 2012 at 03:14 PM
This will be an interesting presentation.
lili lutu May 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Very much looking forward to the talk tonight!
Heidi May 22, 2012 at 07:19 PM
wish i could be there for the presentation. bats are hugely important for our environment and the bad rap they get is not fair.

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