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Forest Service Hosts First-Ever BatWeek!

Illustrated BatsSynonymous with a superhero signal in the sky and silhouettes hanging upside down in a darkened cave, bats inspire a long-standing fascination, and with good reason! Bats are vital to healthy ecosystems and human economies worldwide.

That is why the USDA Forest Service has designated October 19-27, 2013, as the first ever BatWeek. We invite you to celebrate by learning about bats, sharing your knowledge with others, and protecting habitat for bats. Following are just a few ways you can be a friend to the bats:

  • Volunteer! You can help protect bats on public lands by helping with bat counts, acoustical monitoring, and much more. Contact your local National Forest to learn more
  • Learn about what fascinating creatures bats are, how they benefit the ecosystem, and the threats they currently face – then share this cool information with your friends and family.
  • Install a bat house – free plans & tips for attracting bats can be found at: www.batcon.org
  • Create and cultivate bat habitat in your yard by protecting & planting native vegetation, leaving trees standing, and creating small ponds where bats can get a drink.

The Forest Service is an agency leader in bat education and outreach, building a strong coalition of education partners through the BatsLive distance learning project, funding bat conservation efforts in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, and leading research on the causes and control of White-Nose Syndrome.

Submitted by Leah Anderson, USDA Forest Service Region 9

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Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) Project

Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) ProjectEnvironment for the Americas (EFTA), the USDA Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management are collaborating in an exciting effort to train Latino youth in community outreach and bird research techniques through the Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) Project. Under Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, EFTA and Federal partners recruited 8 Latino interns to serve as environmental liaisons to local communities, increasing awareness of conservation issues and careers in conservation. Celebrate Shorebirds interns are working in Washington, D.C. with communications and media outreach, in Oregon on research related to sea bird colonies, in Alaska on bird education efforts, and in Colorado and California on field work related to wetland, marsh, and shorebird monitoring.  Check out this fantastic cultural-eco-training program at: Environment for the Americas and learn more about birds at BirdDay.org.