Glen Canyon Bat Festival will make you appreciate this busy little mammal

Photo by GlobalP / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

PAGE, Ariz. – The Glen Canyon Bat Festival is Saturday from 5-10 p.m MST and promises to show those attending why bats are important to the southern desert region and what threatens them.

In this National Park Service photo, youth learn to use acoustic monitoring devices to record and identify bats in real time. Location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of NPS, St. George News

The National Park Service and Glen Canyon Natural History Association are presenting this free event at the Wahweap Campground Amphitheater, 100 Lake Shore Drive, Lake Powell, Arizona Festivities will include informational booths, kid-friendly crafts and activities, guest presentations and bat discovery walks.

The bat festival will highlight the importance of bats in reducing insect populations, dispersing seeds and pollination throughout southern desert climates.

“We get to live our lives relatively pest-free here because of the hard work of bats,” Amanda Boston, program coordinator for the Glen Canyon NHA said. “There are a lot of misconceptions about bats, and the point of hosting this festival with the park is to celebrate these underappreciated mammals and our unique relationship with them.”

Guest speaker Colin Sobek from Northern Arizona University’s Bat Ecology and Genetics Lab will present “Species from Feces,” research focused on identifying bat species from their guano using genetics.

Student Conservation Association NPS Academy intern Jessica Rosado will delve into the inspiration behind her studies and provide an engaging introductory presentation for participants new to the world of bats.

“Recent bat monitoring projects in Glen Canyon have been able to engage citizen scientists and increase public awareness of the threats bats are facing,” Lonnie Pilkington, natural resources program manager with the NPS at Glen Canyon said. Those threats range from white-nose syndrome, to habitat loss and impacts from wind power development.

Bat discovery walks will be held at 7:20 p.m. and at 9 p.m. on an easy 1-mile guided walk between the Wahweap Campground Amphitheater and Swim Beach. Using iPads and other wildlife monitoring devices, participants will have a chance to use some of the available technology to identify bat species by sound.

Event details

  • What: Glen Canyon Bat Festival
  • When: Saturday, July 22, 2017 from 5-10 p.m. MST
  • Where: Wahweap Campground Amphitheater, 100 Lake Shore Drive, Lake Powell, Arizona
  • Cost: Free

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