Chesterton Tribune



Izaak Walton League offers bat adoption and learning

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The Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League is giving Mother Nature and Santa a helping hand this year with their Bat Adoption Program, launched in October during Bat Week to bring bat conservation awareness to the youth of Northwest Indiana.

The Bat Adoption Program sends your gift recipient (or yourself) an adorable, palm-sized plush bat with special adoption papers and care instructions for being a friend to backyard bats. Also, an e-newsletter, Chiroptera Monthly, is sent by email. The program is available at PCC's website,, for a $10 donation plus a fee of $4 for shipping and processing. Adopters and their families will be invited to an exclusive Bat Night Hike this coming summer with the Porter County Chapter.

"Those little plush bats are so cute that our target audience of children quickly morphed into 'children of all ages' who were interested in bat ecology. The monthly e-newsletter is full of things adults will appreciate about PCC's work and that of bat scientists around the world. It also has interactive games and pages for kids to learn about bats. That little plushy makes a soft and educational stocking stuffer," said PCC's Executive Director, Annette Hansen. "We're so thankful to a Thrivent grant that provided seed money to allow this program to start." All proceeds from the bat adoptions will benefit the not-for-profit chapter's continuation of bat studies and youth conservation education of bats here in NW Indiana.

IWLA-PCC added some man-made bat roosting habitat to their conservation property and were curious about the species coming and going around them. "We had learned that wind turbine farms run in a lateral belt through the midwestern migration flyways of bats and wild birds and we wanted to help.," Hansen said, "Both are being cut down by the blades which span their migration routes; coming and going. Bats are not necessarily prolific reproducers. That, along with habitat loss, climate change and diseases threaten the existence of many bat species. It would take $3.7 billion in pesticides on American crops to do the same job as the bats we don't see, but feel the effect of. Bats are so important! We don't want that much pesticide on food or in the water supply. Mosquitoes and the diseases they carry would also take over our backyards without bats. Some can eat 8,000 insects in a single night."

So, put bats at the top of your wish list! Citizen Chiropterologists (bat scientists) can also learn more about preserving bats at Like and follow Ike's Porter County Chapter on Facebook@PCCIWLA, or email for more at


Posted 11/26/2019




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