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Bat workshops at UW’s Kemp Natural Resources Station

Do you hear the call – or the echolocation – of the wild?

Two interactive outreach events focused on bats will take place in early August at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Kemp Natural Resources Station, located on the shore of Tomahawk Lake near Woodruff. Media are welcome to cover one or both events.

The first, set for Aug. 7 at 7 p.m., will feature an informational presentation about Wisconsin’s bats, including an update on the spread of white-nose syndrome in the state, followed by a demonstration of the type of equipment used to count and identify bats at Kemp’s acoustic bat monitoring station and at other monitoring stations around the state. Attendees will also be invited to help count bats as they emerge from various roost sites at dusk. This event will be led by Heather Kaarakka, a conservation biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).

The following morning, Aug. 8, starting at 10, there will be a bat house-building workshop led by retired WDNR biologist Linda Winn. Registered attendees will assemble the houses from pre-cut materials and also learn how and where to install them at home.

Please note that members of the general public must register in advance to attend these events. Registration information is available at http://kemp.wisc.edu/outreach/events/.

Kemp’s staff have been partnering with WDNR’s bat scientists since 2007, when the department decided to install a long-term bat monitoring station at Kemp.

“After the station was installed, I got to know the WDNR crew who worked with bats, and since then we have offered outreach sessions about bats every couple of years or so,” says Karla Ortman, office manager at Kemp Natural Resources Station, who recruits Kemp users who are passionate about their work to participate in the station’s outreach programming.

This bat-focused partnership, notes Ortman, falls in line with Kemp’s mission to support research, teaching and outreach about the management, conservation and preservation of natural resources in Northern Wisconsin. Kemp’s bat monitoring station gathers information about bats flying in its vicinity. The WDNR collects and analyzes the data, along with data from other sites around the state, with the goal of understanding and supporting healthy bat populations in Wisconsin.

Kemp Natural Resources Station is located at 9161 Kemp Road, Woodruff, Wisconsin, 54568.

For more information, contact Karla Ortman (UW-Madison), karla.ortman@wisc.edu, (715) 358-5667, or Heather Kaarakka (WDNR), heather.kaarakka@wisconsin.gov, (608) 266-2576.