SYRACUSE – Bats are the type of creature most people like to avoid.
For biologists at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, they’re the perfect species to capture and study, and they are inviting the public out to Antelope Island in Syracuse for a deeper look into the species.
Utah DWR is holding the event this Friday specifically due to the new moon that is scheduled to occur. It’s considered a good time to study the bats.
Adam Brewerton, a regional sensitive species biologist for DWR, will be heading to the island in order to capture a few bats using netting.
The biologists will be capturing bats until midnight, but participants do not have to stay the entire time.
Brewerton, in a press release sent to the Clipper, said Antelope Island is a good place to capture the bats because there are plenty of newly-hatched insects in the area.
“That makes it a good place to study bats,” he said. “Insects are a primary source of food for bats.”
The event is being held in order to educate people about how important the species are to nature, and the new moon provides ample darkness for bats, which are preyed on by owls.
“Bats are susceptible to being preyed on by horned owls,” Brewerton said. “The darkness of a new moon makes them less leery to move around.”
Mist nets will be used to capture the bats, which will be measured and weighed. The capturing allows biologists to perform a “health checkup” as well, checking the species wings for signs of disease.
While capturing the bats, acoustic recording devices will also be used in order to listen and record sonograms of bat sounds.
Biologists use the sonograms in order to identify the species of bat.
All of this work, Brewerton said, has a much larger picture involved than just studying the species in general.
“We’re doing this work to gather information about sensitive species and take conservation measures aimed at keeping them from being listed as an endangered species,” he said.
Residents who want to participate in the event will meet at the Wild About Birds Nature Center in Layton at 7 p.m. The center is located at 1986 N. Hillfield Road.
Participants will leave for Antelope Island at 7:30 p.m.
The event itself is free; however, a park entrance fee will need to be paid to get into Antelope Island.
To register for the event call 801-779-BIRD (2473).