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Hoping bats move in and stay at a new bat condo in Door County

Posted at 3:05 PM, May 17, 2024

More bats were buzzing around Door County years ago than there are now. Now many are working on bringing them back, including students at Gibraltar school.

  • Students at Gibraltar School are building a bat condo.
  • The condo, will be outside of Horseshoe Bay Cave in Egg Harbor.
  • This condo helps with the efforts to restore Door County's bat population.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

There’s a push to bring the bat population back to the level it was a decade ago and some local students are helping.

“They're not as scary as people think," said Kazmierczak.

Door County Parks Manager Tim Kazmierczak wants everyone to know about bats and why they're important.

"I'm responsible for the bat population in this area and that's actually a really important part of the ecosystem,” said Kazmierczak.

At Horseshoe Bay Cave, at Frank Murphy Park in Egg Harbor, some students from Gibraltar School are working with the DNR and Virginia Tech to help increase the bat population which Kazmierczak says went from about 1,500 bats to around 12 bats.

"One of the issues we've faced in the last ten years is White-Nose Syndrome which is a fungus that has been killing our bats," said Kazmierczak.

Now the numbers are slowly climbing back up as bats winter in the Horseshoe Bay Cave.

But the condo is expected to increase growth even more.

Student Connor Gieseler is helping build the condo with his classmates. He and his classmate Henry Pokorski say they're excited to be part of this project.

"Probably just going to get a few pictures, or some of us will probably go out there," said Gieseler about the project.

"Just being able to connect with people through nature and stuff,” said Pokorski about his favorite part.

Their teacher, Nathan Hatch, is helping his students make the bat condo. He says the project is expected to take 9 weeks.

"We've got about three weeks left. It's going to look like a large dog house," explained Hatch, “In time it could house up to 3000 bats."

When the bat condo is finished, we'll show you how it looks and in case you're not a fan of bats, Kazmierczak tells me they can eat lots of insects including up to 1000 bugs every hour in the evening.