Think bats are cool? Do they amaze you with their flying skills or remind you of the latest vampire movie?
Either way, you are in luck! On September 18, 2012, the U.S. Forest Service is co-sponsoring a live webcast from Bracken Cave near San Antonio, Texas, home of the world’s largest bat colony. The 20 million inhabitants of Bracken Cave consume some 250,000 pounds of insects each night.
As part of BatsLIVE! a free education program that provides bat information and research, children will get a chance to understand bats better. A teacher webinar on caves and karst is set for Oct. 11, 2012. The programs are free and teachers can register at www.batslive.pwnet.org.
The BatsLive! webinar will help students see millions of the Mexican free-tailed bats take flight from the cave. The webcast also will offer information on these and other bat species, predators that wait for the nightly emergence of the bats, and other threats to bats, including the deadly white-nose syndrome.
Dennis Krusac, a biologist with the Forest Service’s Threatened and Endangered Species program explains, “Bats are primary predators of night-flying insects, consuming enormous quantities of agricultural and forest pests and reducing the need for chemical pesticides.”