DEM showcases various species inside JBM-HH
The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), labeled endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is one of ten species of bats that can be found on Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall. The creatures have been instrumental in keeping down the mosquito population on base.

Sustainability and Environmental Management Systems Program Manager Amy Fagan's new project ''Species of the Month" has just begun its second month on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The merlin was named for the first month's species, and this month's species is the bat.
''Merlin's are small, compact birds that are powerful.

They have shorter wings that are pointed and angular.They can usually be found in open areas with tall trees or buildings so they are able to get a view of what is below," said Fagan, an employee with Joint Base Myer-Hender son Hall's Directorate of Environmental Manage ment.

''We are trying to spread the word on different species that can be found in populated areas such as D.C. and Northern Virginia," she said.

''We have more wildlife than one might think. The goal of this project is to raise awareness."

The monthly profile will include both plants and animals thriving in the area.

''We chose the merlin while doing a survey on ospreys at Fort McNair. We were walking down by the water around the War College and saw a merlin flying around," said Fagan.

This month's species, the bat, was chosen because of a Boy Scout Eagle Project that called for ''bat boxes" placed strategically at Forts Myer and McNair. So far nine of these bat homes have been put in place. These boxes are meant to provide more homes for the bats living in this urban area.

''Bats provide many benefits, including eating mosquitoes, spreading seeds and pollinating certain species of plants," said Greg Olmsted, DEM pest management coordinator.

''There are 10 different species of bats living on JBM-HH, one of which is endangered," said Fagan.

The bat species on base are the big brown bat, little brown bat, evening bat, eastern pipistrelle, red bat, hoary bat, silver-hair bat, small footed myotis, northern myotis and the Indiana bat which has been labeled endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Not only are bats nocturnal, but they depend on their high pitched squeaks to direct them.

The high pitched squeaks allow the bat to hear an echo which directs them away from or toward an object, including food.

Fagan said, ''The DEM has been working hard to increase the number of bats found throughout the installation."

To find out what the new species of the month is or to pick up a flyer on the current highlighted organism, stop by Bldg. 321, or call 703-696-8055 for an email version of the flyer.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16