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Bring the Kids to the 3rd Annual Bat Festival SATURDAY

Bring the Kids to the 3rd Annual Bat Festival SATURDAY
July 20
05:28 2018

GLCA – Citizen scientists from Page High School and Grand Canyon Youth monitor bats. Left to Right- Antonia Muskat, Mark Allen, Tanner Wilburn, hidden, Grace Carpenter

The Third Annual Glen Canyon Bat Festival is being held on Saturday, July 21 (5 to 10 p.m., MST) and everyone is invited to attend. The National Park Service (NPS) and Glen Canyon Natural History Association (NHA) are hosting this event in the Wahweap District of the park; at the Lake Powell Resort Lawn. Festivities will include informational booths, kid-friendly crafts and activities, guest presentations, and bat discovery walks.

North American bat populations are facing unprecedented threats from habitat loss, disease, wind energy development, and misunderstanding. This bat festival will highlight the role the public can play in bat conservation efforts and celebrate the ecological services bats provide, such as pest control, seed dispersal, and pollination).

“We get to live our lives relatively pest-free here because of the hard work of bats,” said Amanda Boston, program coordinator for the Glen Canyon NHA. “There are a lot of misconceptions about bats, and the point of hosting this festival with the park is to celebrate these underappreciated mammals and our unique relationship with them.”

Guest speaker Jason Corbett, Director of the Subterranean Program from Bat Conservation International, will present on the potential impacts of white-nose syndrome on Southwestern United States cave roosting bat species. Student Conservation Association NPS Academy intern, Ashley Xu, will delve into the inspiration behind her studies and provide an engaging introductory presentation for participants new to the world of bats.

According to Lonnie Pilkington, Natural Resources Program Manager with the NPS at Glen Canyon, “recent bat monitoring efforts have enabled park scientists and the public to better understand occurrence, distribution, and abundance of bats within the park and contribute to long-term continental bat monitoring efforts (i.e., North American Bat Monitoring Program).”

Bat discovery walks are being held at 7:20pm and 9:00pm on an easy one-mile guided walk between the Lake Powell Resort and Lake Powell. Using iPads and other wildlife monitoring devices, participants will have a chance to use some of the available technology to identify bat species by sound.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument was established before the NPS in 1910 and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area joined the family in 1972.  The recreation area stretches for 1.25 million acres from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, proposed wilderness areas, and a vast panorama of human history. Last year, approximately 4.6 million park visitors enjoyed these national treasures, added $425 million in economic output, and supported 5,148 local jobs.

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