Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Going Batty for Gold

Alexis Levorse, a Girl Scout from Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award for building and installing twenty bat houses in the Rainbow Lakes community in Parsippany, NJ. Parsippany Life reports that recent news articles detailing the effect of White-Nose Syndrome, a mysterious fungus killing bats in the northeast, have brought welcome interest in protecting bats. There are nine species of bats in New Jersey, six of which hibernate throughout the winter in caves. White-Nose Syndrome wakes the bats from hibernation too early in the season, leaving them with a lack of food supplies, depleted fat reserves and an overall sense of weakness - causing them to freeze or starve to death. Bat counts in 2009 and 2010 at the Rockaway hibernaculum report about a 90 percent drop in the bat population. It is suggested that bats could become extinct in the northeast. Of her project, Levorse says:
"Most people are afraid of bats or think they're ugly... but I think they're
kind of cute and they are such beneficial creatures too. People just don't
understand them, so I thought I would try to help them and clear up some
misconceptions, at least in my community."
Kudos to Alexis and Congrats for the Gold Award! Are there compelling Girl Scout Gold Award stories you'd like to share?