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Service Learning at Sodalis Nature Park April 5, 2014

OTHER PHOTOS

Sodalis Nature Park has been dedicated to the protection of the Indiana bat otherwise known as Myotis sodalis. Service learning crews were asked to help clear the bat’s habitat of the invasive amur bush honeysuckle. The heaviest concentrations were in the floodplain areas.

We found it a little interesting that the bats have yet another reason why this particular invasive plant species can be a destroyer of ecosystems. It turns out that the honeysuckle grows so dense throughout the understory that it creates an obstruction to the bat’s sonar communications. Bats that cannot communicate properly can become confused and some may not be able to effectively find mates.

Students also learned about white nose fungus that is causing population decimations of the Indiana bat. Other bat species have developed resistance through evolution, while the Indiana bat seems to be particularly susceptible to this newly introduced threat. Restoring the bat’s habitat can go a long way to bringing populations back to what they once were.

You can learn more about Sodalis Nature Park and conservation efforts at their website: http://hendrickscountyparks.org/sodalispark

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