News Release

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site hosts events celebrating the science of bats

A poster with a blue background and photos of a man dressed as a cowbow holding a bat puppet and a man dressed as an insect with large round glasses. Text reads "Mad About Bats. An educational circus about bats, flight, and doing what's right."

Leapin' Louie and Jugglemania

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News Release Date: August 31, 2023

Contact: Theresa Langford, Cultural Resources Program Manager, (360) 816-6252

National parks throughout the Pacific Northwest are joining together to celebrate the park residents that gobble up mosquitos and see with their ears! During the month of September, family-friendly performances at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will educate visitors of all ages about these unique and amazing creatures. In addition, Fort Vancouver NHS will host two evenings of bat surveys for members of the public to learn more about the specific bat species that call this urban park home.

Join us at Fort Vancouver NHS for Mad About Bats, a 30-minute educational comedy circus about bats, the history of flight, and caring for our planet. This family-friendly program is presented by Leapin' Louie and Jugglemania. Performances will be held at 1 pm on September 21 and September 22, 2023, in the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum. Jugglemania's Rhys Thomas and wild west roper David Lichtenstein use comedy, circus skills and audience involvement to educate adults and kids about bats. SEE bat characteristics illustrated with juggling, HEAR echolocation illustrated with trick lasso work, and FEEL silly from the clowning around! A beautiful bat puppet and large photos of bats are also used to help humans relate to these flying mammals. Rhys Thomas and David Lichtenstein are two of the Northwest's premiere performers of variety comedy shows featuring comedy, circus arts and educational themes. Both have performed full time for over 30 years in theaters, schools, and festivals, and in over 30 countries around the world. Learn more at and

On September 21 and 22, at 6:45 pm each evening, Mount Rainier National Park Wildlife Ecologist Tara Chestnut will lead a survey of bat species at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. These surveys are each limited to 30 participants. Pre-registration is required. Participants must be age 10 and up; minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Participants will learn how specialists use acoustic detectors to listen for bats' ultrasonic calls, and use these to identify specific species and track behavior. The walk is expected to take approximately one hour and may be over uneven ground. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. To register for this free program, call (360) 816-6230.

Bats in the Northwest are threatened by a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome, which arrived in Washington State in 2016. Learn more about the National Park Service's work to monitor bats in the Northwest here.

Mad About Bats

What: A 30-minute family-friendly educational comedy circus about bats presented by Leapin' Louie and Jugglemania
Where: Pearson Air Museum's Historic Hangar, located at 1115 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661
When: 1 pm on September 21 and September 22, 2023
How to participate: This program is open to the public. Registration is not required.
Cost: Free

Bat Survey at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

What: A survey of bat species at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site led by Mount Rainier National Park Wildlife Ecologist Tara Chestnut
Where: This program will take place outdoors at Fort Vancouver NHS
When: 6:45 pm on September 21 and September 22, 2023
How to participate: Registration is required. Space is limited to 30 participants. To reserve a spot, call (360) 816-6230.
Cost: Free

Last updated: August 31, 2023

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800 Hatheway Road, Bldg 722
Vancouver, WA 98661


360 816-6230

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