bat chat

Bat Chat Fort Cooper State Park

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on March 5, 2023

Due to popular demand, the Friends of Fort Cooper will again feature a special
program with observation of Florida’s bats on Friday, March 31, 2023, at Fort Cooper State
Park, 3100 S. Old Floral City Road in Inverness.

Bat Chat

Friday, March 31, 2023

Thanks to a Boy Scout Eagle project, Fort Cooper has a huge bat house that now has thousands of inhabitants.

The presentation will be given by Shari Blissett-Clark, president, Florida Bat Conservancy and board member of Bat Belfrys Inc., dedicated to conserving Florida’s bats!

Visitors will start the evening in Fort Cooper’s Rec Hall with a social at 6:20 p.m. followed by a 6:30 p.m. presentation by Ms. Blissett-Clark. Join the Florida Bat Conservancy for a colorful introduction to the bats that fly through Florida’s yards and neighborhoods every night. Learn fascinating bat-facts and discover the environmental and economic value of these important mammals.

Finally, we will discuss simple steps anyone can take to encourage bat activity in their yard. Live Florida bats will accompany the program. Following her presentation and any questions and answers, attendees will take a short hike to Fort Cooper State Park’s Bat House to witness the swarm of bats exiting their house at sundown (about 7:45 p.m.) It is advised that walkers wear sneakers or close-toed shoes. It’s truly a remarkable sight!

Florida’s bats are the primary predators of night-flying insects, consuming millions of bugs each night. Even a small colony of just 100 bats can eat up to 200,000 insects in a single night or 65 million insect pests each year! It is estimated that there are over 5,000 bats residing in Fort Cooper’s Bat House. Pesticide-free, cost-free insect control!

Seating in the Rec Hall is very limited. Please reserve by calling the park office at
( 352) 726-0315. There is a $3 per car state park entrance fee. The presentation is free.



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