The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia
Thursday, 12 October 2023 09:50

Celebrate the importance of bats at “Bats and Brews” in Asheville 

Written by Hellbender Press

PallidBat_GRCA_Hope_BatWeek2016.jpgOct. 24 - 31, 2023: Everybody can get in on the Bat Week fun.  National Park Service

An excellent time to celebrate bats

ASHEVILLE — The public is invited to “Bats N Brews” in honor of Bat Week from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26 at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Bat Week is an international, annual celebration designed to raise awareness about the need for bat conservation. Bats are vital to the health of our natural world and economy. Although we may not always see them, bats are hard at work all around the world each night — eating tons of insects, pollinating flowers, and spreading seeds that grow new plants and trees.

This year, Bat Week is spreading its wings bigger than ever before by bringing on board partners across Latin America, from Mexico and the Caribbean to Costa Rica, Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Brazil, and more.

Pedro Adrián Aguilar Rodríguez represents the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C. (AMMAC) and coordinates Bat Week planning with associated partners across Latin America.

“We wanted to incorporate more participants from Latin America to show the rich bat-fauna from the region. Also, to meet the different groups and individuals who study and protect bats. Bat Week represents an excellent stage to do so, an opportunity that Latin American bat-scientists and science communicators took,” said Aguilar Rodríguez.

The “Bats and Brews” event is organized by the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Forest Service, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, University of North Carolina and the North American Bat Monitoring Program. 

During the event, biologists will discuss their efforts to understand, protect and conserve bat populations in North Carolina, the Southeastern United States, and across North America. Through hands-on demonstrations, attendees will experience how scientists — including community scientists — study bats and work together to understand where bats live, in what numbers, and how populations fare through time amid mounting threats like infectious diseases, climate change, habitat loss and more. 

The evening’s event will feature a screening of the documentary film “In Echo All About: A Documentary about Big Battles for Little Bats,” by Nicholas Mullins. Susan Loeb, bat research ecologist with the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, and employees from the National Park Service will reflect on bats and their importance to healthy, functioning ecosystems. 

Activities will include trivia and opportunities to engage with bat experts on the science of these mysterious animals. Attendees will learn about echolocation, what it’s like to study bats in caves, and what people can do in their communities to celebrate and support bats. 

The event is ticketed and hosted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Bat Week is Oct. 24 - Oct. 31. This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate bats. Bats do a lot of things that help our natural areas be strong and healthy:

  • Some bats eat insects that destroy crops and spread disease.
  • Some bats pollinate plants, like agave.
  • Bats help spread seeds to grow new plants.
  • Show your bat appreciation on social media, using #BatWeek.
  • Host a bat-centric party.
  • Cook up a dish made possible by bats. Need ideas? Check out the Bat Week Cookbook.
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Last modified on Friday, 03 November 2023 23:47