CORNWALL — The River Institute and the OPG St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre are going batty with creatures who like the dark. On Wednesday, July 11 between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. the St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre in Cornwall will host a Nocturnal Wildlife Workshop. Geared towards the entire family, this workshop will feature a special presentation with Cornwall’s very own Batman, Dr. Brian Hickey, and the River Institute’s “Real Eel” expert Matt Windle. As a result of declining bat populations in North America, Dr. Brian and his summer crew conduct bat research that recruits homeowners to become involved in citizen science right here in eastern Ontario. For several years Windle has also worked to better understand another declining species, the North American Eel.
Dr. Hickey has studied bats throughout North America, Mexico and Africa. He says, “Bats are amazing animals and despite their false reputation for flying into hair and carrying disease, with more than 1000 species worldwide, they are one of the most diverse and ecologically important groups of mammals on the planet.” He adds, “This time of year we may see a bit of an increase in numbers because the young are just learning to fly.”
It isn’t only bats that can be found on the night shift when River Institute scientists go travelling. They have a great interest in all sorts of creatures and are really fascinated by those they encounter in the dark. As research scientists, ecologists, and educators this dynamic duo will deliver a hands on presentation that the whole family will enjoy.
The public is invited to come out and explore the important role that nocturnal animals play in natural ecosystems. Workshop participants will also learn about the interesting characteristics and behaviours of these critters. Visitors are also very likely to see the real thing.
Environmental Education Workshops at the OPG Visitor Centre are free of charge throughout the summer. The OPG St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre is located at 2500 B Second Street West, Cornwall.