Boys and Girls club joins effort to build 5,000 bat boxes
–The Boys & Girls Club of North SLO County and the Paso-based Central Coast Bat Survey are celebrating Bat Week 2015 by joining a national effort to build a total of 5,000 bat boxes between Oct. 25 and Halloween.
Members of the North SLO County Boys & Girls Club will be working under the supervision of scientific staff from the Central Coast Bat Survey along with Boys & Girls Club staff and the club’s Torch Club members. The Torch Club is a chartered, small-group leadership and service club-within-a-club for boys and girls of ages 11 to 13.
The Bat Week program has been designed to allow young North County Boys & Girls Club members to experience an enriching experience that will include:
• A fun yet productive, holiday-themed activity;
• A hands-on construction experience that will yield a highly functional finished product –plus, the bat boxes meet the industry standards set by Bat Conservation International;
• A learning experience about the value of bats in the natural world as well as their role in agriculture, natural agricultural lands management, and residential community insect-pest control;
• The opportunity for each participant to follow the progress and success of their finished product since every bat box will be monitored by the CCBS after it has been placed; and
• Involvement with a long-term scientific study.
The team has a goal of building 50 bat boxes – 1-percent of the national goal. Once completed, the boxes will be placed at locations within the Upper Salinas River Valley in order create roosting habitat to support and maintain these native species, each of which may eat up to 1,000 insects during a night of activity, a benefit enjoyed by residents as well as farmers and ranchers.
Bats, although seldom seen by the public, are vital to the health of our environment and crucial to our economy. Bats contribute locally to environmentally safe and economically sustainable farming; sound natural agricultural lands management; and residential community insect-pest control. Additionally, bat studies have contributed to the development of navigational aids for the blind as well as a better understanding of low-temperature surgical procedures.