Sept. 24, 2003
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BAT HOUSE UNDER
CONSTRUCTION AT SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY
INCLUDE REDUCING RISK OF WEST NILE VIRUS --
ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University is constructing a bat
house on campus for ecological study, environmental stewardship and
as an alternative to chemical pest management.
professors, administrators and wildlife biologist Cal
“Batman” Butchkoski of the Pennsylvania Game Commission
gathered this morning to break ground on the 8-by-8-foot structure.
Butchkoski designed the bat house and is regarded as one of the
nation’s top bat experts.
will have opportunities to study colonization, foraging and flight
habits of the nocturnal mammals that eat mosquitoes and other
insects. Among the pest control applications, notes project leader
Dr. Steven Doherty, may be reducing the risk of West Nile Virus
“Bats consume thousands of insects nightly and are an
ecological alternative to chemical pest management,”
says Doherty, assistant professor of parks and
recreation/environmental education and chair of the campus
Environmental Task Force. “They have prominent roles in
ecosystems. Most importantly, a bat house on campus provides
numerous educational opportunities for the sciences and other
disciplines. This bat house project will be an integral component
of campus greening, the development of a campus pedestrian
orientation and an enriching aspect to experiential education and
the environmental stewardship mission of
Another unique aspect -- one that distinguishes it from other bat
condos -- is that SRU is using locally grown, locally milled timber
and lumber that is “Smartwood” certified by the Forest
Stewardship Council, Doherty says. It will essentially be a
“green” building, supporting local industry and
sustainable forest management in the
will develop habitat suitability maps, informational brochures and
conduct workshops to promote the efficacy of bats and communicate
ecological awareness to the campus community, Doherty
Researching the natural history of local
Surveying campus ecosystems and designated
habitat study areas.
Building an educational component for
campus and community interests.
Partnering with other area bat
Promoting bat conservation as a tool in
are not aggressive and pose no danger to students, Doherty says.
The project is funded by an SRU student/faculty research