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E-M:/ Fourth Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 25 July 2005
CONTACT: Bill Scullon 906-786-2351 ext. 116; Chris LaVigne, Dickinson Tourism Coordinator, 906-774-2002

Fourth Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival

Iron Mountain is going batty again this summer with the fourth annual Great Lakes Bat Festival Aug. 12-13.  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Organization for Bat Conservation, Wildlife Unlimited, the Dickinson Area Partnership, and the city of Iron Mountain are sponsoring the festival.  The two-day festival will take place at various locations in and around Iron Mountain, and there is no cost to attend most activities.
 
The bat festival is a must-see when coming to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The festival features bat experts from around the Great Lakes region including Dr. Allen Kurta from Eastern Michigan University, author of "The Mammals of the Great Lakes Region." Live bats from around the world will be shown during a variety of programs presented by the Organization for Bat Conservation, including vampire bats, common Great Lakes bats, and several species of large flying fox fruit bats from Africa. A Michigan United Conservation Clubs staff biologist will be on hand with live species of Michigan's native wildlife.
  
On Friday, Aug. 12, interpretive underground iron mine tours will be available from 7 to 9 p.m. CST at the Iron Mine in Vulcan, seven miles east of Iron Mountain on US-2. Interpreters will showcase the historical role of mining in the development of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the habitat that mines provide for bats. No registration is necessary. The tour is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a $6 fee for admission.
 
On Saturday, Aug. 13, free public programs will run continually from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST at Pine Mountain Resort in Iron Mountain. Programs will include live bats and other Michigan wildlife, a look at how abandoned U. P. mines provide critical habitat for bats, building your own backyard bat house, friendly ways to deal with nuisance bats, managing your land for wildlife and bats, bat research efforts, kids' activities, a bat store with lots of fun stuff to take home and more.
 
Join researchers and biologists Saturday evening for a free outdoor program at the Millie Hill Mine bat viewing site in Iron Mountain. This outdoor program starts at 7 p.m. CST and promises to be great family fun. Experts will set up special nets to capture dozens of bats as they emerge. The mine is home to thousands of bats that use the underground haven to sleep through the winter. The public will get a chance to see up close this incredible winged nightlife.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.

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