“Batman” talks about bats in your backyard and the local population

Courtesy photo

CORNWALL — Bats are not often considered a traditional holiday present but if you have them in your backyard, they are a gift none the less, so says the River Institute’s Dr. Brian Hickey. “Bat populations are one of the best natural indicators of the health of our environment”, says Dr. Hickey, aka “Batman”. He should know as he has been studying the health of bat populations for decades.

On Wednesday, December 5 at 7 p.m. Schnitzel’s will play host to the River Institute’s Science and Nature on Tap with one of our own local scientists at the podium, Dr. Brian Hickey. As a result of declining bat populations in North America, this scientist and his summer crew have been conducting an investigation over the past several years that enlist homeowners to become involved in bat science in their own backyards. Geared towards the entire family, this presentation will highlight his most recent research.

While Dr. Hickey has studied bats throughout the world, it is right here, in eastern Ontario, that he has spent the majority of his research career. He says, “Bats are amazing animals. With more than 1000 species worldwide they are one of the most diverse and ecologically important groups of mammals on the planet.”  He adds, “They also help to control insect populations and some bats also serve as the pollinators and seed dispersers of many plants that are important to humans.”

The public is invited to come out and explore the important role that bats play in natural ecosystems and what is being done to understand them and protect their numbers.

Science and Nature on Tap Sessions are free but seating is limited. For more information or to reserve your seat contact Karen Cooper at 613-936-6620 (229), email kcooper@riverinstitute.ca, or visit www.riverinstitute.ca.

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