Bats in Vermont are not wearing haute couture gowns, and they are not perusing fine art in Philly, but they are still benefiting from a fashion show and an art show in those locations.
In Vermont, the state Fish and Wildlife Department is the beneficiary of a bat-themed fashion show featuring six local designers. Scott Darling, Vermont’s bat biologist, will be on hand to explain the impact of white nose syndrome on the state’s bats.
In Philadelphia, a show of bat-themed art is benefiting Bat Conservation International. The show, called “Empty Night Skies,” has already raised thousands of dollars for the organization, according to Philadelphia Weekly, and runs through June 13.
Read the article in Philadelphia Weekly for the details, but be prepared to hold your nose through the first few paragraphs. (Does this guy even know any kids? Today’s generation was brought up with Stellaluna, and in general, thinks bats are cool even — or especially — if they think bats are creepy.)
Photo: Our own bat art, made from a photo of a gray bat from the US Fish and Wildlife Service
In Vermont, residents have reported seeing colonies of little brown bats. Over the last five years most of the state’s little brown bats had been wiped out by white nose syndrome (WNS). In Pennsylvania, an abandoned mine appears to have 2,000 healthy bats.
More good news: The Center for Biodiversity reports that Congress has directed that $4 million from the endangered species recovery fund go towards white nose syndrome research. But Congress has allocated for WNS before, and then reneged. It will be truly good news when research actually gets funded. The Center for Biodiversity press release.
Photo: Scott Darling, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, in the early days of the WNS crisis. Photo property of State Wildlife Research News. (Permission required for reuse.)
There is fire in the West, while flooding continues everywhere else.
Two of Arizona’s four packs of endangered Mexican wolves are in the immediate area of the Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona. An interagency team is monitoring the effects of the fire on the endangered wolves.
When flooding first struck the Mississippi River, there was also flooding in South Dakota and Vermont. The flooding continues there as well, prompting these two stories about flooding and wildlife.
The first, from the Greenfield (S.D.) Daily Reporter says that wildlife officials are asking the public not to rescue wildlife displaced by the flooding. They particularly ask people to leave fawns alone, since does can leave fawns for what seems to humans like a long time. Not sure how that relates to the floods. Wildlife officials all over the country are asking the public to do the same thing. Read more.
In Vermont, high water on Lake Champlain means that black terns — a state-threatened bird — probably won’t raise broods in the state this year. It is expected to be a rough nesting year for aquatic birds, and even ground-nesting birds may be effected by the flooding that hit the state last week. Beavers and muskrats are also dealing with the high water, and are seeking high ground, which is forcing them on to roadways more than usual.
Maryland, Vermont, and Alaska are the first states to ban felt-bottomed fishing waders in an effort to slow the spread of the algae known as didymo, and other invasive species. (Well, the Alaskan ban doesn’t take effect until next year, but it is on the books.)
Idaho and Oregon tried to ban felt waders, but the legislation didn’t pass, reports this USA Today story on the wader ban. Nevada will consider a ban as part of an invasive species plan, the article says.
Missouri has taken another route. It is using wader washers at the state’s four trout parks. Read all about it in the Missouri Department of Conservation press release. Info about the wader wash stations is half-way down, below the list of phone numbers. One Ozark skeptic opines here, but gives many more details about Missouri’s attempt to slow didymo by educating anglers.
Photo: What’s on your waders? A biologist conducts a fisheries survey in Wyoming. Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service