OSSINING, N.Y. -- Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining is trying to set a world record for most bat houses built in a day as part of its Bat Week observance.
Bats around the world are battling extinction. Millions die each year from human impact or are simply forced from their homes. To raise awareness about the plight of bats and conservation efforts to protect them, Teatown is participating in this effort this October.
This celebration of the bat is international in scope and is organized by Bat Conservation International, the Organization for Bat Conservation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Acoustics, Lubee Bat Conservancy and the Save Lucy Campaign.
Teatown is offering two public programs during the week of Halloween: Bats in Peril (for adults) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 and Build a Bat House (all welcome) from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 31. Unless otherwise noted, all programs meet in the Nature Center and are $7 per person or free for members. For the bat house program there is an additional material fee of $45 per box/one per family.
Bats help keep insect populations in check. They also are plant pollinators and seed dispersers, promoting biodiversity. New York's bat populations are in a critical state of decline due to white-nose syndrome.
Kevin Carter, Teatown’s executive director, said: “Bats are essential to a healthy ecosystem. They play a critical role by eating insects, serving as flower pollinators and planting seeds for growth of new plants and trees. Teatown wants to help raise awareness of the threats to this crucial species through Bat Week, so they will be better protected in the future in New York state, where their numbers are declining at alarming rates, as well as throughout the world.”
Registration is required for these programs. Register by calling 914-762-2912 Ext. 110. More information about Teatown is available at www.teatown.org .
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