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Contact: Mary Plumb, (928) 608-6202
Contact: Amanda Boston, (928) 640-3900
The second annual Glen Canyon Bat Festival is being held on Saturday, July 22 (5-10 p.m., MST) and anyone interested is invited to attend. The National Park Service (NPS) and Glen Canyon Natural History Association (NHA) are hosting this free event at the Wahweap Campground Amphitheater. Festivities will include informational booths, kid-friendly crafts and activities, guest presentations, and bat discovery walks. More info here.
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,” said Amanda Boston, program coordinator for the Glen Canyon NHA. “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 also delve into the inspiration behind her studies and provide an engaging introductory presentation for participants new to the world of bats.
According to Lonnie Pilkington, Natural Resources Program Manager with the NPS at Glen Canyon, “recent bat monitoring projects in Glen Canyon have been able to engage citizen scientists and increase public awareness of the threats bats are facing.” Those threats range from white-nose syndrome, to habitat loss and impacts from wind power development.
Bat discovery walks are being held at 7:20 & 9:00 p.m. on an easy one 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.