Gorgeous Wildlife Webinar Series: Bats

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Friends' Gorgeous Wildlife webinar series, led by local specialists in their respective fields, returns just before Halloween with bats!

Get Batty This Halloween Season With Friends!

Friends' Gorgeous Wildlife webinar series, led by local specialists in their respective fields, returns just before Halloween with another look at a favorite critter from our previous programs: the bat.

Are you spooked and/or curious about the animal most associated with Halloween, one that's at the root of myths and legends? Some have difficulty appreciating that an animal with wings and blood-sucking abilities can take majestic flight just as birds do. But despite their creepy reputation, did you know that without bats we’d lose over 300 species of fruit, including bananas and mangos?

And if you're not a fan of biting, buzzing bugs, thank bats for eating on average roughly 1,000 bugs every hour! Bats' importance as crucial pollinators and bug regulators is still widely unknown. Let’s celebrate this misunderstood and underappreciated creature with a conversation to get to know them more, as well as what the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Friends of the Columbia Gorge are doing to help bat conservation in the Gorge.

Join us Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. Pacific for a free, live conversation with Carly Wickhem, regional biologist for WDFW, and Frances Fischer, Friends’ land trust coordinator, to learn about bats and the terrible white fungus that is taking them out by whole colonies. Ask questions and learn what you can do to help native bats in Oregon and Washington.

The webinar will be recorded and uploaded to Friends' YouTube page within a few days of the recording.

Featured Speakers

Frances Fischer: Frances joined Friends in June 2018. As land trust coordinator Frances assists in the record-keeping, stewardship, and restoration of Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust properties. Her favorite thing about her job is that through leading stewardship events, she is able to connect with volunteers that share her passion for the natural world. As a pollinator fanatic, Frances also serves as the organizer for the Gorge chapter of the Oregon Bee Atlas, a project of Oregon State University. Frances moved to the Gorge with her Hood River-local husband from Bozeman, MT where she worked in community outreach for the Montana Wilderness Association. Frances holds a B.S. in Conservation Biology and Ecology with a minor in Entomology from Montana State University where she worked in several ecology labs studying pollinators and climate change.

Carly Wickhem: Carly is a Wildlife Biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife covering Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat Counties. Her position focuses on managing game species and monitoring non-game species, specifically those that are threatened or endangered. Prior to working for WDFW, she worked throughout the Midwest and Western U.S. on various wildlife, fisheries, and plant projects.


Melissa Gonzalez: A passionate birder and certified interpretive guide, Melissa joined Friends in September 2020. Most recently, Melissa served as the training specialist for the District 3 of the Florida Park Service, where she assisted 33 state parks with training, interpretation, and communication needs. During her tenure with Florida State Parks she moderated all District 3 parks web content and developed Spanish language materials as part of park COVID-19 communications. An alumnus of Audubon Florida's Conservation Leadership Initiative, Melissa holds a B.S. Environmental Studies from the University of Central Florida.