White Nose Syndrome is a disease responsible for unprecedented mortality in hibernating bats. Martha’s Vineyard may be one of a few places in the Northeast where White Nose Syndrome hasn't infected bats or the places they hibernate. On The Point, we talk about the prevalence and implications of the fungus, how scientists and federal agencies are responding, and what researchers hope to learn from this uninfected bat population on Martha’s Vineyard. Host Mindy Todd is joined in the studio by Luanne Johnson, director and wildlife biologist at BioDiversityWorks, Liz Baldwin, assistant director and wildlife biologist at BioDiversityWorks, and on the phone Jonathan D. Reichard, national White Nose Syndrome assistant coordinator for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
On Saturday, February 13 at 7 PM Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater present Bat City USA, a film which chronicles the story of how Austin, Texas was prepared to wage war against a large colony of Mexican free-tailed bats which began to roost inside a downtown bridge. The hoopla drew the attention of world famous bat researcher, conservationist, and photographer Merlin Tuttle who made it his mission to educate Austin about its misapprehensions about bats as well as the important role bats play in insect control and pollination. Today Austin is not only tolerant of bats—its Congress Avenue Bridge, with its hundreds of thousands of roosting bats, has been a major tourist attraction for the past 25 years.
Following the screening of Bat City USA, there will be a short presentation on the bats of Cape Cod by Dr. Tom French of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. French will be joined by Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Science coordinator Mark Faherty in a discussion about bats moderated by Mindy Todd, WCAI manager of editorial and host of The Point.
This screening will be held at WHAT’s Julie Harris Stage. Admission is $12 per person. Tickets may be purchased online at www.what.org, the WHAT box office, or by calling WHAT at (508) 349-9428.