Friday, October 23, 2015

Halloween Dwellers on the Watershed

A spooky thing happens to our watershed keepers on their way to reservoir patrol.

There are bats in the boathouse—hundreds of them roosting on the rafters. 

The small nocturnal flying mammals—long-time watershed inhabitants—took up residence in the floating building on Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir years ago

They may greet a staff intruder with high-pitched chatter in response to the unwelcome light through the first crack as the door opens.  But otherwise they stay put, except when they fly out to forage just after dusk and again just before dawn.  

Our biologists take occasional surveys to check that no rare or endangered species are mingling with the local Yuma myotis. The rest of the time, the bats are left to do what they do—keep the mosquito population at bay, mate (at this time of year), and produce one offspring per year.  There are no current plans to encourage relocation.

“We work around them,” says watershed keeper supervisor Tina Wuslich.  “It’s their home. We’re just the stewards.”  

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