organization in Berks promotes efforts to help injured bats | Regional News from Berks
A local nonprofit is doing its part to raise awareness and promote conservation efforts for perhaps one of the most misunderstood species on the planet.
âIt’s an ashy bat. It’s the biggest bat here in Pennsylvania, âsays Stephanie Stronsick, who founded the Pennsylvania Bat Rescue, as she administers fluids to a bat that was found severely dehydrated in Berks County.
Each year, the association’s volunteers help hundreds of bats.
âWe will save, rehabilitate and release native bats to their natural habitat. You don’t think much about bats in the environment, but they are all around us, âsays Stronsick. âWe have a variety of permits. We also work with endangered bat species; which is a separate license.
In Pennsylvania, you could say that bats are nature’s pest control – they eat more insects than any other species.
“They are the only flying mammals in the world. They have very small finger bones and can suffer a lot of injuries,” Stronsick notes.
But there is a deadly new threat to bats.
White-nose syndrome is a cold fungus that was accidentally introduced from Europe to upstate New York in 2006. Pennsylvania bats are not able to trigger an immune response.
“It literally eats away at the membrane of their wings,” says Stronsick.
She says if you find a bat on the ground, there’s a good chance it needs help.
âVery few bats found on the ground do not need help and just need to be placed in a tree. However, 99% of them need help, whether it is dehydration, injury, injury of some sort, “Stronsick said. “We have a lot of bats after storms because they have to come out to migrate and feed.”
Pennsylvania Bat Rescue is always looking for volunteers, especially to help transport bats. Things like gasoline gift cards and monetary donations are also helpful. Rescue also offers educational opportunities.
You can read more about Pennsylvania Bat Rescue on their website.