Two New Bat Species, a NOAA Art Contest, and the Saginaw Basin Field Guide (Part 2)

1- There’s more news from Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County.

michigan hoary bat
A hoary bat captured at Shiawassee refuge. Credit: Amber Nolder.

Last week, we reported on a red-tailed hawk that’s been coming to the refuge for 27 years, which may make it the oldest-living red-tailed hawk ever documented. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is looking into that story. (Washington State may have an older bird, but not a wild one).

Now comes information on two new species of bats found at the refuge. Steven Kahl, refuge manager, says a bat survey has turned up a number of hoary bats and red bats at the park.

The survey was done to explore what types of bats are using the refuge, and in what numbers. A total of 229 bats of three species were captured, including four red bats and three hoary bats. The survey was conducted in collaboration with Eastern Michigan University.

Despite the new bats that were found to be using the refuge, there is bad news. Only two “little brown bats” were discovered. These types of bats used to be the most abundant kind on the refuge. But a bat-killing fungus called White Nose Syndrome has decimated the little brown bat species across most of its range.

2 – Attention teachers: the annual  “Keep the Sea Free of Debris” Art Contest is now open.

The contest, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is open to kids from kindergarten through the eighth grade. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 19.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program is looking for art that shows how marine debris affects the environment of the oceans, and the freshwater seas of Great Lakes, and what people can do to help solve this problem.

Winners of the art contest will be featured in a 2015 marine debris calendar to help raise awareness about the issue.

saginaw basin field guide cover
The second edition of the Saginaw Basin Field Guide, from the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy.

A sixth- and eighth-grader from Michigan were among the winners last year.

More: Beat the Micro Bead

3- What kind of a bird is that?

If you want to know more about plants, birds and other animals that live in the Saginaw Bay watershed, and how to spot them, pick up a copy of a new regional field guide.

The guide comes from the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, located in Bay City.

You can pick up a free copy at the conservancy’s headquarters on East Midland Street, request a copy by mail, or download an electronic version from the conservancy website.

This is the second edition of the Saginaw Basin Field Guide. It includes trail maps, new art and photography, along information on nature preserves and all the different types of species you may encounter in the outdoors.


– The Environment Report, with Mr. Great Lakes (Jeff Kart). As heard in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM.

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