Bats have a reputation as being one of the frightful animals associated with Halloween. However, a bat’s voracious appetite for flying insects is one reason it’s good to have these unique flying mammals around.
People can learn more about bats and the benefits they provide to humans at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) program “MDC Science: Bats of Missouri.” This free program will be from 6-7 p.m. on Oct. 13 at MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center, which is located at 4601 S. Nature Center Way in southeast Springfield. This program is open to people ages 16 and up. This program will have both in-person and virtual options for attendance. People can register at:
At this program, MDC Policy Coordinator Jordan Meyer, who is MDC’s former bat ecologist will discuss the species of bats that can be found in Missouri, their physical characteristics, and how a bat uses echolocation (high-frequency sound emissions that can locate objects in total darkness) to be an effective hunter. One bat can eat up to 3,000 flying insects in a single night. This can have both comfort benefits (think less mosquitos) and financial benefits (think fewer moths to lay eggs that will develop into crop-pest and garden-pest caterpillars the following summer). Meyer will discuss the conservation concerns surrounding some species of bats, the research projects underway to learn more about bats, and things we can do to help bats. The Oct. 13 program is part of an ongoing series of programs at the Springfield Nature Center that highlights the work of MDC’s scientists.
The Oct. 13 program is free, but registration is required. To participate, use the link above. People who wish to attend virtually must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them.