On Saturday, July 22nd, the National Park Service and Devils Tower Natural History Association will host the Annual Bat Festival in the picnic area of the Wyoming National Monument from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. The festival will include presentations and fun educational activities all about the amazing nighttime resident of Devils Tower/Bear Lodge – the bat!
There will be an interactive inflatable cave, demonstrations on building bat roosts, information booths, costume contests, crafts, games, activities for kids, movie screenings, and special guest presenters. There will also be a unique bat activity book to complete for a special bat pin. In addition, park staff will offer bat listening walks during the evening hours. These walks include using special detectors to listen to echolocation calls as bats fly overhead.
The Bear Lodge/Devils Tower is home to 11 bat species. One of them, the northern long-eared bat, is currently listed as endangered and faces extinction due to the range-wide impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease among bats across the continent.
“Here at Devils Tower, we hope that the festival gives visitors a fun and unique opportunity to learn about bats, why they are important to the ecosystem, and the challenges they are facing in today’s world,” says Caralie Brewer, a Biological Science Technician and Bat Management Lead. “Since the discovery of white-nose syndrome at the Tower, we would like to continue to educate the public on this disease, bats, and why they are essential to the Monument, the community, and agriculture.”
The Bear Lodge Bat Festival is a partnered event with support from Devils Tower Natural History Association. Those who plan to attend are advised to bring a flashlight and dress in layers in case of weather issues.