Bats are the topic of a free, interactive program on Thursday, September 4. Starting with a presentation at 7 p.m. and ending with a field demonstration with bat detectors, spotlights, and a thermal imaging camera by Melton Hill Lake, the evening will provide ample evidence that bats are friends, a press release said.
Although they sometimes suffer from a poor public image, bats are extremely beneficial animals: They are major predators of night-flying insects. Bat specialist Gerry Middleton, a biologist with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, is the presenter.
Following his 7 p.m. talk and a question and answer period, participants will adjourn to the marina on Melton Hill Lake for a field demonstration: Gerry will use his â€œbat detectorsâ€ (which detect echolocation calls) to help spot the nocturnal creatures as they forage for insects at dusk. Heâ€™ll also bring a spotlight and a thermal imaging camera to help participants see bats after dark.
The program, sponsored by Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, will be in Room 102 of the First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, on the corner of Lafayette Drive and the Oak Ridge Turnpike. (Note: Organizers said they will begin promptly at 7 p.m. to allow plenty of time for the program and questions and answers while still allowing time get to the lake before full dark.) In the event of rain, the talk will be held as planned, and Gerry will do an indoor demonstration with the bat detector.
For more information about this program or Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, call (865) 583-3967 or visit www.tcwp.org.