Project succeeds in increasing east-central Illinois bat population

The following article was featured in the November Prairie Research Institute Newsletter


An eastern red bat. Photo credit: Brooke Daly

OCT 27, 2020 8:00 AM BY LISA SHEPPARD


Bat Week is October 24-31.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 10/26/20: Thirty minutes before sunset, Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) scientists and volunteers set up chairs in the prairie grass at Coles County’s Warbler Ridge Nature Preserve, look up at the summer twilight sky, and wait for the bat show to begin. Soon, the bats emerge from their bat houses to feed and fly off into the night.

A good showing of bats is exciting news for the scientists: bat-focused habitat conservation efforts have proven to be effective in attracting and nurturing bat populations, but this work can take time to pay off.

The INHS Illinois Bat Conservation Program (IBCP) partnered with Grand Prairie Friends (GPF), an Urbana-based, non-profit conservation organization, in 2018. In the first two years o