Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Bat Doctor speaks to over 400 people about IL bats in May 2010.

The Bat Dr. with Mrs. Coleman's 5th grade class from Witt, IL at Conservation Day 2010.

Whew!  I just finished my round of 16 bat presentations in 3 weeks.  It was fun, but I feel like I'm ready for a bit of a break. 

Most recently I got to give 8 IL bat talks at the Montgomery County Conservation Day on 5-14-10.  It was fun.  See the full press release below.

The Bat Dr. with Mrs. Fuller's 5th grade class from Hillsboro, IL at Conservation Day 2010.

On Friday May 14, 2010, Dr. Todd Austin had the opportunity to teach 165 Montgomery County, IL 5th grade students as well as 15 adults (teachers and parents) about bats. Austin, a member of the Montgomery County Toastmasters Club, has been an active member of Bat Conservation International (BCI) for nearly 20 years. Austin was one of 14 speakers at this years’ annual Conservation Day event. This was an outdoor event put on by the Montgomery County Extension and held in Hillsboro at the Extension office. All in all, Austin gave 8 separate talks with an average of 20 children per session.
The Bat Dr. with Mrs. Hacke's 5th grade class from Hillsboro, IL at Conservation Day 2010.

Dr. Austin educated these 5th graders with his 20-minute presentation called “How to Become a Bat Ambassador”. Austin brought along 10 framed 8”x10” bat photos (most from his own volunteer work with bats over the years) along with a small jar of bat guano and a single chamber bat house.

The Bat Dr. with Mrs. Oberle's 5th grade class from Hillsboro, IL at Conservation Day 2010.

The main points covered were how Big Brown Bats and Red Bats both help farmers by eating so many cucumber beetles and cut worm moths, and how Little Brown Bats help us all by eating so many mosquitoes, thus decreasing our risk of getting the West Nile Virus. Austin then taught kids 4 ways to help out bats.

The Bat Dr. with Mrs. Brownback's 5th grade class from Nokomis, IL at Conservation Day 2010.
"The kids really enjoyed the bat photos." said Austin.  "They especially liked the story and pictures about Lucy, the orphaned Red Bat pup that was lucky enough to survive a Blue Jay attack last summer."

"While I enjoy speaking to audiences of all ages," says Dr. Austin, "children are our planet’s future ambassadors. A little bit of education at an early age can go a long way toward changing preconceived negative attitudes about these extremely important and highly beneficial furry flyers. We all need to act now to save our bats!"

The Bat Dr. with Mrs. Pryor's 5th grade class from Zion Lutheran School at Conservation Day 2010.
Virden’s ‘Bat Doctor’ also left bat rings, info about BCI's Adopt-a-Bat program and ‘Important Bat Fact’ cards for every Montgomery County 5th grader that he talked to.

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