Want to see bats in the wild? Attend upcoming DWR viewing event
Salt Lake City — Utah is home to 18 confirmed bat species, and an upcoming Utah Division of Wildlife Resources event will give you the opportunity to learn more about them and also have the chance to possibly see bats up close.
Bats are unique in that they are the only mammals capable of true flight. They are found throughout the state and can be abundant wherever they can find food, shelter and water. Utah's bats feed almost exclusively on insects.
While Utah's greatest diversity of bat species is found in the southern part of the state, DWR biologists conduct statewide surveys to learn more about the different species, where they are located throughout Utah, and how their populations are doing.
During these surveys, biologists use special nets — often placed near the water — to snare bats as they swoop down to eat insects. The biologists then quickly detangle the bats from the nets, identify the species, gather other health information and then release the bats back into the wild. At the upcoming event, members of the public will have the opportunity to take a close look at the bats before they are released.
"Bats are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem," DWR Central Region Outreach Manager Scott Root said. "They are often misunderstood, and sometimes feared, when they don't need to be. We are excited to provide more information about these unique animals and hopefully the chance to see them up close at our upcoming event."
The bat seminar will be held on Thursday, July 13 from 7:30–10 p.m. at the DWR Springville Office at 1115 North Main St. in Springville. Attendees will first go into the conference room to hear an informative presentation about bats. Then, they will go out onto the back patio, near the river, where the netting survey will take place. Participants will be required to wear an N95 mask when near the bats to help prevent health concerns to the bats. Masks will be provided or participants can bring their own. Participants are also encouraged to bring a small flashlight or headlamp because it will be very dark.
While the event is free, participants are encouraged to register in advance on Eventbrite.