If you want to get an idea of how we do bat surveys in Onondaga and Cathedral Caves, watch this MO Dept. of Conservation short video.
Check out this great 3 minute news coverage about our Bat Festival 2012, featuring Rob Mies AND Missouri's Big Brown Bat. :-)
Celebrate the Year of the Bat!
2011 has been named the Year of the Bat by the U.N.E.P. Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of Population of European Bats (EUROBATS). Year of the Bat promotes conservation, research and education about these fascinating and misunderstood flying mammals. Learn more about the environmental and economic importance of these animals, the threats they face, and what you can do to help bats survive. For information and regular updates - interesting bat facts, bat house plans, and to find out what you can do to help bats survive - follow our Facebook Page. Learn more about bats at Year of the Bat. ***** ALSO! Check out the best bat photo winners from Europe for 2011! Such beautiful, amazing creatures photographed by some very talented photographers. Click here for photos.
What's Happening to Our Bats?
Called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) because of the tell-tale sign of white fungus Geomyces destructans gathered around the bat's nose, the fungus appears to disrupt the normal patterns of hibernation, causing bats to arouse too frequently from torpor (temporary hibernation) and starve to death through excessive activity. The symptoms associated with WNS include loss of body fat, unusual winter behavior (including flying), damage and scarring of the wing membranes, and death. WNS started in the United States in a cave in New York and has since spread from East to West, now in Missouri.
As of this writing, Onondaga Cave State Park's bats do not have any sign of WNS. Please learn about this problem, be respectful of caves that are closed, and change your shoes, clothing, backpacks, etc. when going to different caves. For more info read through the FAQs on WNS.
Long-eared owls are distributed state-wide in Missouri, but it isn't likely they nest here now. Still, it is fun to listen for them, and all of Missouri's owls, at night. Learn more about them here.