2007-10-18 / About Town

Bat man back by popular demand

The Jamestown Philomenian Library will present "Bats: Fact, Fiction and Natural History," on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. The presentation, which is for students in grade 6 and up and adults, will be conducted by URI Coastal Institute Director Dr. Peter August, who is also a professor in the department of natural resources science.

Every night, millions of insects emerge into the sky. Many, such as mosquitoes, are in search of a blood meal. Lucky for humans, there is an ally who spends countless hours devouring and eliminating millions upon millions of insects. Without bats, life would be quite different. Nighttime activities would be impossible because increasing insect populations would make outings such as barbecues, picnics, and evening walks unbearable.

Many things people think they know about bats are not even true. Bats are not blind. They are not rodents, and they don't get tangled in your hair. The truth is, bats are among the most gentle, beneficial, and necessary animals on earth. Professor August will review the diversity of bats on global and regional scales. He will talk about the fascinating life history of Rhode Island bats, discuss the positive ecological functions bats serve, and go over bat-human interactions and public health risks.

A resident of Richmond, August received a bachelor's degree from the University of San Diego,

master's from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. from Boston University. August's research centers on conservation biology, landscape ecology, and the use of Geographic Information Systems

GIS) in the analysis of environmental data.

This program is free and open to the public.

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