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Bat Church

Posted in Historical Places in Blair County, Pa.

bat church in canoe creekThis Little White Church built in the 1800s located at Canoe Creek State Park in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania Blair County has been home to thousands of bats over the years.  This is the home of Pennsylvania's largest Brown Bat colony.  The Wild Resource Conservation Fund Purchased the church and surrounding acres in 1995.  The PA Game Commission made improvements to the church and also added a bat condo about 100 yards down stream to help house the many bat species.

  Most of the bats living in the church are from the Brown Bat species, but a few endangered Indiana Bat species have been seen at the church.  This is the first time anyone has seen these Indiana bats use a human structure for their maternity home.  Most bats have one or two pups each year usually born in the Summer.  The pups are able to fly after only 3 weeks of being born.  Canoe Creek State Park is an excellent feeding location for this bat colony.  Bats feed on small insects, such as flies, wasps, moths, mosquitoes, which like to live by water or wet land areas.  Bats are a key factor to maintaining balance in the forest ecosystem.  One bat eats about 3,000 insects each night.  Recently the churches bat population has decreased severely due to a disease called white-nose syndrome (WNS).  This disease as spread like wildfire throughout the northern eastern states since 2006.  Research indicates that over 70% of Brown Bats have died in the last 5 years.  Scientists have been diligently working on a vaccine to help prevent the extinction of our area bat colonies. 



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