The public is invited to attend this free presentation
On Monday, January 9th, the Big Oaks Conservation Society will hold a meeting at Ivy Tech in Madison, Indiana starting at 6:30PM. Kassie Karssen, Wildlife Biologist for Big Oaks and Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuges, will do a presentation on bat conservation. The public is invited to attend this free presentation.
Although some people fear bats, mainly due to misconceptions, these creatures actually play several important roles in environmental management and health. By learning about bats it's possible to dispel common myths and gain an appreciation for them and the major role they play in the pollination of fruits, dispersal of seeds, and how they aid in reduction of crop pests. Now more than ever bats need our understanding and help as they see massive population declines all over the world, including right here in the Midwest. Here at Big Oaks NWR we are a part of a larger effort to survey for bat species like the Federally Endangered Indiana Bat, Northern Long-eared Bat, and the candidate species Tricolored Bat. A world without bats would be a scary place, we need to do all we can to support bats and learning more about them is a step in the right direction.
The Big Oaks Conservation Society is the non-profit support group of the Big Oaks NWR. Society members work closely with refuge staff to enhance public awareness, use, and appreciation for the natural and cultural assets unique to Big Oaks NWR. Meetings are held the first Monday of selected months at 6:30 p.m. Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) consists of approximately 50,000 acres on the former Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG) located in Jennings, Ripley, and Jefferson Counties in southeastern Indiana. The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and provides public use opportunities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, interpretation and environmental education. The refuge has one of the largest contiguous forest blocks in the southeastern part of the state as well as one of the largest grassland complexes in the state, both of which provide wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities to refuge visitors.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses more than 550 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.