Why interpreting bats? Because they live in our forests and are part of our biodiversity and most importantly there are many stories to tell.
We like to present NOCTILIO a Citizen Science project in Puerto Rico about bats.
The purpose of the Project NOCTILIO is to train University Students and High School Teachers as volunteers to collect data to confirm the presence and highlight the importance of the fishing bat (Noctilio leporinus) as flagship species of the interconnection of the Santa Ana Urban Forest with the San Juan Bay Estuary Region. Then, the NOCTILIO volunteers will be ready to give interpretive talks about bats in the locals publics schools near the forest and the Estuary area.
Imagine going during night into the woods to work with bats. Few would do this because when we think of these enigmatic mammals we relate them quickly with the negatives: They are ugly, blood-sucking vampire and become or are entangled in the hair, nothing certain. Instead, bats should be worthy of admiration: for piloting swiftly in the dark using echolocation, they look challenging our aesthetic and its activities provide many important benefits to our ecosystems.
As interpreter and research coordinator of the Environmental Center Santa Ana (CASA), [a nature center administered by the Natural History Society of Puerto Rico in the National Park Julio E. Bayamon Monagas], I have experienced the fascination with environmental volunteers in CASA, working with bats Noctilio Project. This project aims to monitor study and educate on the fishing bat (Noctilio leporinus).
Noctilio we do it in collaboration with the San Juan Bay Estuary Program, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Campus and the Bat Conservation Program of Puerto Rico directed by Dr. Armando Rodríguez Durán at the Interamerican University in Bayamon.
Some of the tasks performed by environmental volunteers, is to assemble and disassemble the mist nets (for catching bats), data collection and placement of monitoring collars to each bat.
At the end of the day, we learned to look at Noctilios with “dilated pupils well” (effect on the human eye to be in the dark), evaluate the need to educate and protect their habitats and so desirable that these friends fly all nights between the Estuary and the Forest with a fish in his paws.
You can follow NOCTILIO Project in our facebook page every month, just LIKE: Centro Ambiental Santa Ana, CASA and look for the Album named: NOCTILIO
Do you have bat education programs, please share with us, ligth our way, write us: firstname.lastname@example.org