Bat Discovery Workshop
Bat Discovery Workshop – Pennsylvania
Have you ever wanted to learn more about bats, but don’t feel you are up for joining a weeklong technical survey course? If so, then the Bat Discovery Workshop is for you. Our 3-night, 2-day format is chock full of just the “fun stuff” that the general public most wants to learn: summer and winter bat ecology and how to include bats as watchable wildlife in their own backyards. Our workshop location at Canoe Creek State Park allows us to feature three decades of bat study and protection and is located in the heart of bat conservation country. Participants will learn from classroom lectures and discussions, receive hands-on opportunities with bat watching tools, and take field trips to view bats and bat conservation on the ground.
Join our instructors: Pennsylvania native, John Chenger and lead instructor Janet Tyburec for a weekend workshop about bats. John and Janet have worked together in central PA since 2003, and will bring you face to face with local bats, showing you how we can work together to watch, enjoy, and protect them in our backyards and beyond. Using facilities and partners at legendary Canoe Creek State Park, we will be able to highlight what this excellent central Pennsylvania venue has been doing to protect and interpret bats since the early 1990s. The Park has long been a pioneer in bat conservation, which we will feature prominently during this course. Currently, Canoe Creek is rising to the challenge presented by the deadly White-nose Syndrome fungus. There is no better place where the public can come to learn about how to protect threatened bats and keep our common species common.
Our event begins with an optional Friday evening “meet up” in the Juniata Valley where we will watch a sunset bat emergence of one of the few remaining populations of little brown myotis that is not only surviving, but also thriving. This trip will set the tone for a weekend of discovery where we learn more about local bats, natural history, habitat needs, and the simple steps we can all do to help improve the situation for threatened bats, beginning with those in our own backyards. Our mornings will be filled with lectures and demonstrations and in the afternoon we will visit resources at Canoe Creek State Park that richly illustrate our curriculum topics. One of our activities will be to break up into small groups to build backyard bat houses. The results of our labors will be raffled off to lucky participants. Then for the next two nights, we invite you to come into the filed with us to meet some of the local bats as we capture them using mist nets and harp traps. We will also teach you how to interpret their nighttime flight patterns using bat detectors and spotlights. Special "behind the scenes" visits inside the Hartman Mine and Garage Roost highlight important resources that make the park a nationally recognized bat refuge. Participants will leave the weekend with a new appreciation for these masters of our nighttime skies and we hope everyone will go on to help make our planet a better and safer place for bats in the future.
Note: This event is ideal for backyard naturalists, educators, animal-lovers and anyone with an interest in learning more about bats and promoting them as watchable wildlife habitat. Though the instruction and activities are geared towards adults, mature school-age children are welcome with an accompanying parent or guardian and will be accommodated at a reduced registration fee.
Curriculum and In-field Highlights
- Importance of Bats
- Winning Friends for Bat Conservation
- Bats and Public Health
- Protecting Caves and other Roosts for Bats
- Threats to Bats: White Nose Syndrome and the Decline of North Eastern Bats
- Bat Habitats and Natural History: The Canoe Creek Success Story
- Artificial Roosts for Bat Conservation
- Dealing with Bats in Buildings
- Bat Adaptations: Flight and Echolocation
- Hands-on Bat House Building Activity
- Field Trips to Visit Bat Roosts at Canoe Creek: Summer Building Roosts
- Field Trips to Visit Bat Roosts at Canoe Creek: Winter Hibernation Mine
- Bat Mist Netting and Harp Trapping Capture Demonstration
- Bat Walk Demonstration with Bat Detectors and Spotlights
Classroom lectures and demonstrations or in-field practicums may vary according to group interests and/or local conditions during the event. Pre course materials including a “what to bring and what to expect” list that includes a final draft agenda will be supplied to all registered participants 1-2 weeks prior to the start of class.