Meet Logan Parker of Belgrade Lakes. Logan is the Engagement Coordinator for Maine Lakes Resource Center and has spent innumerable hours helping bats and studying White Nose Syndrome. Read on for Logan’s profile.
The following article appears in the fall issue of Habitat, Maine Audubon’s member newsletter. Interested in receiving Habitat in the mail? Join us today!
For the past few years, I have been studying and teaching about our state’s bats and the threat posed by White Nose Syndrome. The drastic decline of our bat population motivated me to advocate for our native bats as much as I could. I built and installed bat houses around the community and delivered lectures to community groups and local elementary schools.
I have also participated in various citizen science projects – most recently I have been working on the BatME project. For my first outing, I surveyed the seven acre woodlot behind my childhood home in Augusta and was awestruck by the species diversity in such a small area.
Bats are subject to a number of misconceptions – contrary to popular belief, bats are neither blind nor “mice with wings.” The biggest myth about bats, however, is that they are common carriers of rabies. This misinformation has unfortunately led many homeowners to get rid of bats that become trapped inside their home. While bats can be carriers of the disease, instances are quite rare – in fact, bats help prevent diseases. By consuming 600-800 mosquitoes an hour, bats can help prevent diseases such as malaria and eastern equine encephalitis.
The best thing people can do to help bats is to take the time to learn about them and to advocate for their protection. If we can clear up the misconceptions and highlight the beneficial services these animals provide, we can elevate bats in the eyes of the public. Fostering an appreciation for bats, rather than fear, will do wonders to help make their conservation and protection a priority.
A Maine native, Doug grew up in Hollis and graduated from the University of Maine. Throughout college Doug worked at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center and was hired as Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist in the summer of 2013, a long time “dream job.” In his free time, Doug volunteers as one of Maine’s eBird reviewers, is the owner and moderator of the ‘Maine-birds’ listserv and serves as Secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee.