Going Batty: Bat Discovery at the Rehder Ranch

Join us at Yampa Valley Land Trust’s Rehder Ranch (near Catamount Reservoir) for an evening all about bats! Hear a talk from Colorado Parks and Wildlife Bat Biologist, Dan Neubaum. Check out the newly installed bat houses, and help us count bats as they leave the historic structures for a night of hunting. This is an evening program. We will first meet at the USFS office in Steamboat Springs for a brief program on bats, benefit of bats and potential threats to our bat friends such as white-nose syndrome and unfounded vilification by some. This program is sponsored by Yampatika, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Yampa Valley Land Trust. No registration is required for this FREE program. See more information below.

Counting bats at YVLT’s Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve, CPW Conservation Biologist Dan Neubaum, lower right. (Photo George Fargo)
Counting bats at YVLT’s Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve, CPW Conservation Biologist Dan Neubaum, lower right. (Photo George Fargo)

Bats Topic of CPW Presentation and Field Trip

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Bats, one of Colorado’s most fascinating flying creatures, are facing significant challenges from human disturbance, a lack of overall knowledge about several of the species and ‘white-nose syndrome’, an often deadly, fungal disease that has led to a significant and worrisome decline in their numbers across the eastern United States.

To provide the public with more information about bats, the challenges they face and the latest data compiled by state wildlife researchers, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Yampa Valley Land Trust and Yampatika will host a presentation and field trip, Friday July 19, at 6 p.m., beginning at CPW’s Steamboat Springs office at 925 Weiss Drive and followed by a field trip to the Rehder Ranch near Lake Catamount.

White-nose syndrome is a fungus that displays as a white, fuzzy growth around a bat’s ears and nose while they hibernate. The discomfort and irritation associated with the disease wakes bats at a time when they should be dormant. The earliest evidence of WNS was found in a cave in New York in 2006. Since then, over a million bats have died from the disease.

“Infected bats essentially starve to death,” said CPW Conservation Biologist Dan Neubaum. “Researchers are trying to determine if the disease causes them to go into hibernation in poor condition, or if the discomfort caused by the disease increases their activity and metabolism during a time when food is scarce and they should be hibernating.”

Neubaum has been studying bat populations in Colorado for several years. He will be available to answer questions and share his latest findings and data with participants.

“White-nose syndrome has not been observed in Colorado, yet,” continued Neubaum. “Currently, we are gathering baseline data that will give us a better overview of Colorado’s bat population and prepare us for the possible spread of the disease to our state.”

After the presentation, registered participants can head to the Rehder Ranch to observe ‘bat houses’, participate in a bat colony count and get an up-close look at captured bats.

Registration is required and is limited to 30 participants.

CPW’s Dan Neubaum with bat at YVLT’s Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve.
CPW’s Dan Neubaum with bat at YVLT’s Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve.
CPW Conservation Biologist Dan Neubaum at the Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve with a female bat with pup attached. (Photo George Fargo)
CPW Conservation Biologist Dan Neubaum at the Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve with a female bat with pup attached. (Photo George Fargo)