DNREC seeking volunteers to help monitor state’s bat population

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is seeking volunteers to help locate bat roosts and to count bats in Delaware as the bats exit their day-time resting areas. Training for “bat spotting” will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 3 at DNREC’s Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) located at 2520 Lighthouse Road, Smyrna, DE 19977. Both new and experienced volunteers are welcome.

Bats are important to Delaware’s ecology, feeding on millions of insects, including mosquitoes, beetles, moths and agricultural pests. A nationwide study in Science magazine noted that bats are among the most economically valuable wildlife to farmers, saving them at least $3.7 billion annually by reducing the amount of pesticides needed for crop protection.

Volunteer-based surveys provide the Division of Fish & Wildlife with important scientific information used to monitor and manage the nine species of bats found in Delaware, such as changes in adult bat numbers and how many young are surviving to flight age. After training, volunteers will adopt a known bat colony and commit to counting the number of bats within their adopted colony at least twice this summer. An RSVP to attend the training is requested by emailing Katelyn Rembecki at katelyn.rembecki@state.de.us or by calling 302-735-8674.

Learn more about the Delaware Bat Program on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DelawareBatProgram/ or at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/bats/.