Saturday mornings are a busy time at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center. The outdoor educators have created various outdoor adventure programs in “Our Big Backyard Series.” The program series is designed to engage 7-10 year-olds, with the company of an adult, on a variety of outdoor educational adventures. This weekend’s program is Beautiful Bats, taught by Camp Director Jacob Newcomb.
On October 27, Beautiful Bats will help inform the public why bats are so special.“We have eight species of bats in NH, and of those eight, four are endangered but all are of conservation concern,” explains Jacob. To Jacob, bats are an extremely important element in our ecosystem, “they provide our Earth with efficient insect-pest control, dispersal of fruit seeds and pollination of plants.”
Unfortunately, public opinion is generally not in the bat’s favor. Many people consider them to be pests or flying rats, neglecting their truly remarkable role in our ecosystem. Contrary to these beliefs, bats actually help with pest control. Their carnivorous diet helps manage insect populations. According to NH Fish and Game, “Bats can eat 50% of their own body weight each evening, and even more if they are females with pups.” With such insatiable appetites, bats help make our outdoor activities more enjoyable with fewer insect intrusions.
Jacob’s goal with Beautiful Bats is to inform families of how to better interact with bats as they prepare for their hibernation or migration, understand just how important they are to our ecosystem, explain some of the problems they face and give them a better public perception. Families can expect outside bat related activities including a reading from a bat book.