“Bats have one of the worst reputations in the animal kingdom. They are maligned in myths and folklore around the world. However, these underappreciated and often misunderstood creatures are crucial to healthy ecosystems and extremely beneficial to humans, performing ecological services such as pest control and plant pollination.
But Vermont’s bats are in serious trouble. Many Vermonters have memories of summer evenings spent watching these aerial acrobats dip and dive in pursuit of insects. In the past decade though that scene has changed as bats have been disappearing at an alarming rate. The culprit: white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease devastating North American bat populations.
VINS hosts bat enthusiast and rescuer Barry Genzlinger for an evening of learning about these amazing animals and what you can do to help them. Genzlinger will address the impact that white-nose syndrome has had on our bat population and the work being done by his team to save bats at the Vermont Bat Center, the only rescue licensed to rehabilitate all nine of the state’s bat species.
Barry Genzlinger, president of the Vermont Bat Center, is a long time member of Bat Conservation International (BCI) and participant in the North American Bat House Research Project. In 1998 he founded Chiroptera Cabin Company and began building and selling BCI-certified bat houses. Since then, Barry has built over 4,000 bat houses, including over 100 for major research projects studying bats as pest controllers at the University of Missouri, Cornell University, the Arizona Army National Guard and Fort Drum.
Barry has presented at wildlife conferences, worked on major television film projects and presented programs to thousands of people from school children to adult and community groups throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania. In 2015, Barry and his wife, Maureen, founded The Vermont Bat Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission of providing education about bats and rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sick, injured and orphaned bats from throughout Vermont.” Sourced from Vins Website