Episode-686- Rob Mies on Bat Conservation and Habitat Management — 18 Comments

  1. I realize it was probably a flip comment, but the doc mentioned that boiling would make most water safe unless you are hiking up in the Himalayas. I will be living up in the Himalayas soon…what do I need to be aware of that boiling wont kill?

  2. Water boils at different temperatures, based on your altitude. Go high enough up, and water boils at too low of a temperature to kill all the bacteria and other dangerous goodies. 180 degrees is the generally recommended minimum. At about 17000 ft, water boils at 180 degrees. Go higher that that, and it would get iffy. You can “cook” the bacteria for a longer time to kill them, but generally it’s better to safe rather than sorry. 180 degrees is the instant kill temperature.

  3. Oops…put this under the wrong podcast, sorry, this was supposed to be for yesterday…

  4. Can anyone (perhaps if Rob Mies is following up on this comment thread) approximately quantify how much bat guano one might be able to catch from a single bat house?

  5. Do bats eat any of the beneficial garden insects such as bees, ladybugs and such? I suspect not, but even if they did the benefit of them eating bad bugs would probably outweigh eating some of the beneficials.

  6. Jack, about that mammouth tusk knife handle….

    I am assuming mammouth tusk is made of ivory. If it isn’t ivory, disregard this comment.

    A lot of states have laws against posessing CERTAIN TYPES of ivory. The general point of the law is to try and dry up the market for new ivory and thus curtail the ungoing global slaughter of elephants. So it’s NEW ivory items (items from after 1976) which are illegal. Here’s a news article which outlines the laws (as of 2009).

    The only way you won’t get in trouble is if you can prove that the ivory in your (fill-in-the-blank) item wasn’t harvested from a living creature after 1976. So perhaps you need a certificate of authenticty or a certificate of pronevance from this person who is crafting this knife for you. In this case, the creature supplying the ivory for your knife died tens of thousand of years ago, so it should probably be okay. But I sense that you might need to consider this as a serious CYOA situation here.

    Case in point: I have a friend who was part of an American bagpipe corps, and they were all getting aboard a plane to fly to a bagpipe competition on the other side of the country. One of the members of the corps had a set of 150-year-old bagpipes from England made with ivory pipes. She was stopped at the airport and they were going to confiscate her bagpipes and possibly even arrest her. But she produced a certificate of provenance to prove the ivory didn’t come from a recent kill. That certificate saved her.

    Measnwhile, I wouldn’t be surprised if out there in the marketplace of exotic materials there can be founds SOME ivory which is being labeled as “mammouth tusk” but it’s really elephant tusk and thus 100% illegal. And so anyone buying it thinking it’s mammouth tusk is being suckered into buying a ticket to jail. So please be careful here.

  7. @Oil Lady, it’s Mammoth tusk. As in, extinct-for-millennia Mammoth. The First Lady wears Mammoth tusk stuff. It’s kosher.

    As for bats landing in hair, it can absolutely happen, and I witnessed it. It was in Lewis and Clark Caverns, right after my Mom said that bats landing in hair was an old wives’ tale. It landed in my one sisters’ hair, who got a little bit spooked, gave another sister a hug, and the bat moved to her hair. The she got our mom’s attention, pulling on her sleeve and saying “Mom. Mom.” Mom thought it was a big barrette, then she realized what it was, freaked a bit, and then it flew off. Yeah, she never heard the end of that on that trip.

  8. I love how the topics on this show seem to always coincide with some recent experience.

    I believe they have re-opened the cave but I was recently very irate when I wanted to go on a spelunking tour of Laurel Caverns here in Western, PA. We found out that they had closed the cave for spelunkers because of the white nose problem.

    Of course I lost my cool (in a rant amongst friends) about how I am sick and tired of the “G-D” tree huggers ruining everything for us. They just closed ALL of my favorite 4WD trails in Maryland and almost every cave of a size that can be explored in Maryland has been closed and gated off in the last year. The tree huggers have been systematically ruining all of the places I have loved to go explore, hike, mountain bike, swim, canoe, you name it… If you enjoy the outdoors, trust me, a tree hugger is trying to ruin it for you as I type this comment.

    So, listening to this show has given me some new insight about why the “bat huggers” are closing down caves and boarding up / gating them and why we really should appreciate them.

    I always thought it was just a tad ridiculous that they warn you at Laurel Caverns that if you knock a bat off the wall even by accident it is a $350+ fine (state law). But, then again the tree huggers have made it so that if you are in Alaska defending yourself from a bear attack you are basically facing a murder charge (or the equivalent number of years in prison and/or fines).

    The funniest bat encounter I’ve had was when a friend and I were floating down the northern Allegheny River after the sun went down and we had the lights turned off on the raft. We could see TONS of bats flying around above our heads and I dared my friend to stick his hand up in the air. When he did, SEVERAL of the bats swooped down at us and freaked him out.

  9. Question:

    There are many bats outlaying my property, but I’ve had trouble bringing them in. I’ve hung bat boxes which are occupied in the fall, but come spring, the barn swallows return an begin nesting in the area around the best bat locations. At that point the bats move out. I’m in Western NY, and my bat boxes are populated in September through Mid December. After that I’m sure they’ve moved to a warmer location, but they don’t reappear again until the swallows have left. If I take down the swallow nests, the bats are back in July. I want the bats, but not at the expense of having the swallows. My neighbors have bats in the early summer. They were the first to point out to me that the swallows and bats don’t cohabitate well. Of course, they both inhabit the same caves and standing dead trees in the wild.

    Have I been misinformed about the problem? Is there anything I can do to create habitat for both bats and swallows in the same area (my barn)? Any tips are welcome, Thanks.

  10. You should copy your question and send it directly to the “bat Guy” in case he doesn’t read these posts. Good question for him and his organization.

  11. @Adam B, you said: “I always thought it was just a tad ridiculous that they warn you at Laurel Caverns that if you knock a bat off the wall even by accident it is a $350+ fine (state law). But, then again the tree huggers have made it so that if you are in Alaska defending yourself from a bear attack you are basically facing a murder charge (or the equivalent number of years in prison and/or fines).”

    First, bats are protected most places, and what’s the point in protecting something if there’s no consequence? “Hey, you’re not supposed to do that! Don’t do it aga, HEY! WHAT DID I JUST SAY? No, I CAN’t do anything about it, but you’re not supposed to do that!” Makes sense, right?

    Second, on the killing a bear in Alaska. Grain of salt, dude. Here’s a story to enjoy. Note that it was a “Defense of Life and Property” shooting. That’s important. Means no crime committed. What does the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game say? “Alaska state law allows anyone to kill a bear to defend life or property (5 AAC 12 92.410, Appendix I). For a bear to be legally killed under this provision, the person must demonstrate that he or she did not unreasonably invade a bear’s habitat, provoke an attack, or cause a problem by leaving food or garbage lying around.” You can find that here in section 6.2

  12. Take my comments with a grain of salt, but I am going to go out on a limb and stick with my guns that a $350 fine for knocking a bat off a wall of a cave is ridiculous. In the grand scheme of the world I am not going to subscribe to the whole “if a bat is knocked off a wall in Pennsylvania there will be a tsunami in Japan” concept (wait, maybe that was when a butterfly flaps its wings)… Anyway…

    When you take into comparison how the giant corporate interests are actually destroying our land, and wreaking havoc on the environment, and not only getting away with it but being SUBSIDIZED for it then I am going to stand by that statement.

    Do I think people should be running around killing bats? Nope… I don’t.

    Now for Alaska and the bears I know full well the law there and every other state is that you can shoot an animal in self defense out of season. I agree with conservation laws and know full well Alaskan wildlife would go the way of the American Buffalo if it were a free for all.

    However my best friend lives in Alaska and I have been there to see it for myself. The conservation officers are nazis up there. My best friend’s brother lives up there, another good friend of mine has a brother living up there as well, all in different areas so I do have some points of reference and I am not just spewing out something I read on the news…

    Yes, it is perfectly legal to kill a bear in self defense but go ahead and shoot one and see what happens to you. Ever hear the new term for modern America? “Guilty until proven innocent?” Since you live in Canada I won’t speak for your laws.

    You are basically treated like a murder suspect if you shoot a bear in self defense, of course depending on where you live and who finds out about it, and whether you end up having one of the nazi tree hugger police show up or a conservation officer with common sense.

    Even here in Maryland where I go camping all of the time, there is a recent story about a family attacked by a rabid bear.

    Now, I talk to a lot of people in this area and someone was telling me that they had to hire an expensive attorney and fight the DNR in court because they were facing a 10,000 fine for shooting a bear out of season. However, in the article where I first heard about the incident in the Washington Post it said no charges had been filed.

    The locals told me the family won in court.

    Now, I don’t know who to believe but I would assume the Washington Post has their story straight. So this guy was either making it up or a rumor spread around the area that he was just regurgitating at me, or they ended up charging the family with a crime after the story had been printed. I really have no idea.

    If what the locals told me was true, then shame on the state for treating those people like that.

  13. Great show as always in sync just 3 nights ago was watching all the bats flying around the light at the barn. They were really piggen out. Because of this show I wont cut down a few snags. let the bats have them or woodpeckers who ever gets there first.

  14. Jack, if you have Rob back, I’m curious if bat’s would help with the squash vine borer… seeing how they are moths and all. Just a thought.

  15. Bats have always been a creepy creature to me, but recently I have learned about how beneficial bats and the implementation of a bat house in my back yard can be! Living in a fairly humid area, the insects can very quickly amass, and just going outside can be an ordeal. Bats are great natural exterminators and do a great job of “cleaning up” the insect population.
    Bat House