Climbers team up with scientists to help with bat conservation
Yesterday, April 17, was National Bat Appreciation Day. What does this have to do with the outdoor recreation world, aside from sharing space with bats (which are freaking cool)?
A recent movement, summed up in this short video called Explorers for Bats (also below), has enlisted the humans who inhabit the narrow, rocky crags as the bats do: climbers.
The need to gather data for bat conservation stems from an effort to prevent White Nose Syndrome (WNS) from wiping out bats in the West. Climbers can help. WNS has already taken a serious toll on the bat population of the eastern states, so learning about where our western state bats winter over may help us address the problem of WNS before it gets to our region.
If climbers encounter a bat or signs of a bat on a climb, they can record the route, the pitch, the conditions, and the time and date, and pass that info onto the manager of the recreation area. Climbers can help gather valuable data because they’re frequently poking around rocks that scientists don’t always access.
Watch the below video for more info, and learn how scientists are tracking and identifying our region’s bat species alongside climbers.
[Featured photo: Serra Baron climbing The Roach at Deep Creek. Photo by Jon Jonckers.]