Groups work to boost bat habitats

Local News

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Groups in Coles County are trying to make a home for bats.

It’s happening southeast of Lake Charleston, along the Embarras River.

“We know in Illinois there are 13 different species, 13 kinds of bats.”

Nine of those 13 types already live here on 1,000 acres of land at Warbler Ridge Conservation Area. Grand Prairie Friends owns the land here, and over the next several months they’ll be restoring 165 acres.

“Specifically to help the Indiana Bat and the Northern Long-eared Bat.”

Sarah Livesay says it’ll include a wetland area, and a now-empty field will be filled with trees.

“Really make it a one-stop shop for them, so this is a multi-phased project.”

While they work on that long-term, they’re moving to help the bats in the short term as well. This weekend they put up two bat pods.

“Three BrandenBark structures and three RocketBoxes, so each pod has six structures.”

When the bats come back in the spring, those pods will be in place for them, while they wait for the trees to grow.

“Installing BrandenBark is something you don’t really see in Central Illinois, there’s no model for this, it’s been done in other states but Grand Prairie Friends took the initiative to make this come to Illinois.” 

This was in partnership with Ameren and Clean APEX Energy. Researchers with the U of I and EIU also helped study the site.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.