Every year, the Wisconsin Bat Program hosts a Wisconsin Bat Festival in conjunction with partners. The Festival is a globally relevant, engaging and important event to promote conservation of bats and ultimately, our environment. Bats are critical to ecosystems around the world and locally. Because these animals are often misunderstood and because multiple species are now threatened with extinction people should be encouraged to protect them. Through this message, citizens learn about the importance of being good stewards of the earth while inspiring children to become the next generation of researchers and biologists necessary to preserve the balance of our environment.
We’re planning to bring the Festival to Ashland, WI in August of 2018! Stay tuned for updates or sign up for gov.delivery to receive more information. We need sponsors and volunteers-- contact Jennifer Redell to get involved!
The 2017 Wisconsin Bat Festival was presented by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Organization for Bat Conservation and hosted by Milwaukee County Parks at the Mitchell Park Botanical Conservancy (the domes). Presenting partners included the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, WI Geological & Natural History Survey, Mississippi Valley Conservancy, UW Stevens Point, UW-Platteville, and UW-Madison. Over 100 dedicated and enthusiastic agency and academic staff and citizen volunteers came together to help host over 25 hands-on activities, 8 live bat talks, guided bat-plant tours of the domes and 12 science talks throughout the day. Attendees learned about the importance of bats worldwide and locally, were given the latest updates on white-nose syndrome research, were able to meet live bats from around the world up close, and interact with scientists and local bat experts. This year’s Festival was attended by a record 2200 people. The Festival capped off with 100 people in attendance at Science Night where numerous live echolocation calls were heard and a big brown bat was captured and released as WDNR bat biologists demonstrated field techniques for studying bats. The Festival was sponsored by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, Wildlife Acoustics, and General Motors with additional support from SQUID Communications and U-Haul.