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Contact: Katie Liming, 406-888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT. –Columbia Falls student and Boy Scout, Todd Ervin, has built several bat houses and a mini-bat condo as part of his Eagle Scout project. The condo, which can hold 3,000-4,000 bats, will be raised in the St. Mary housing area. Ervin will present three smaller houses to the park this Wednesday. The smaller houses can hold several hundred bats each and will be placed strategically throughout the park.
The houses built by Ervin will provide alternative roosting sites for bats as the buildings they occupy are remodeled to exclude bats. Currently bats in Glacier National Park roost within natural shelters, including caves, hollow trees, and snags, and also in park buildings. Park biologists have found bats roosting in attics, between building walls, and under siding and roofing.
Biologists have confirmed the presence of nine bat species within Glacier National Park, including Little Brown and Big Brown Bats which are both susceptible to white-nose syndrome. These two bat species are also the most strongly associated with human structures. Bats are an important part of the ecosystem. They feed on insects, pollinate plants, disseminate seeds, and serve as a source of food for predators. October 26-31 is Bat Week.
According to Superintendent Jeff Mow, "It's wonderful to see the next generation take the initiative to provide an alternative habitat for one of our species that is being impacted by disease and development."
Boy Scouts must complete several requirements in order to become Eagle Scouts. One of the requirements is to complete a community service project. Ervin will present his project to the park on Wednesday at8:30amin the Community Building in West Glacier. Community members are welcome to attend.
For additional park information, visit the park's website https://www.nps.gov/