Batty about bats: Kemp hosts workshops for wildlife enthusiasts

Kemp had a full house at Friday night’s bat presentation.

This past weekend, Kemp Natural Resources Station hosted two interactive outreach events focused on bats. Around 43 people showed up for a Friday evening presentation led by Heather Kaarakka, a conservation biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). The following morning, 17 people pitched in to assemble 14 bat houses. The bat house-building workshop was led by retired WDNR biologist Linda Winn, who also gave participants instructions on the best placement of the houses to help attract bats.

Kemp’s staff have been partnering with WDNR’s bat scientists since 2007, when the department decided to install a long-term bat monitoring station at Kemp.

“After the station was installed, I got to know the WDNR crew who worked with bats, and since then we have offered outreach sessions about bats every couple of years or so,” says Karla Ortman, Kemp’s office manager, who sets up the station’s outreach programming.

A workshop participant assembles a bat house.

This bat-focused partnership, notes Ortman, falls in line with Kemp’s mission to support research, teaching and outreach about the management, conservation and preservation of natural resources in Northern Wisconsin. Kemp’s bat monitoring station gathers information about bats flying in its vicinity. The WDNR collects and analyzes the data, along with data from other sites around the state, with the goal of understanding and supporting healthy bat populations in Wisconsin.

More details about the recent bat workshops are available here.