I Am Conservation

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From Missouri Conservationist: February 2017

Greg and Donna Mowery are photographed with two big brown bats in their home in Pacific. The couple became involved with bat rehabilitation through the Missouri Master Naturalist Program. Through that program, they had an opportunity to participate in a bat monitoring study and later became involved with the Missouri Bat Census. They received training in bat identification, monitoring, field studies, care and feeding, and white-nose syndrome education. Once they were trained to handle and care for bats, they were able to start participating in the rescue and rehab of bats in their area. They get calls to help remove bats from homes or businesses, as well as to rescue injured bats. “Our main goal,” said Donna, “is to get the bats back into the wild as soon as possible.” The couple takes their bat rehabilitation work very seriously, noting that bats play a big role in our lives. A single bat can eat up to 5,000 insects in a single night. This reduces pest insect populations, especially mosquitos. Donna says their busiest time is spring because that’s when bats are having their young. “We start receiving orphaned pups around May or late April,” said Donna. This past spring, the couple had 18 baby bats to care for. “The newborns require a lot of care,” said Donna. “With that many little mouths, we had a lot of long nights.”

—photograph by Noppadol Paothong

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler