Wings Across the Americas Award
February 15, 2011
Wings Across the Americas, a U.S. Forest Service program that represents an integrated and collaborative approach to the conservation of birds, bats, and butterflies, recognizes outstanding work by employees and their conservation partners each year. Mike St. Germain, a graduate student in fisheries and wildlife sciences, was recognized for his contribution to the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network and U.S. Forest Service Bat Blitz partnership, which was selected as the 2010 winner of the Wings Across the Americas Award for bat conservation.
A bat blitz is best described as a coordinated, intensive survey designed to sample the bat community across an extensive area to gather much-needed data on local bat populations. St. Germain volunteered as a team leader for the bat blitz summer trapping events for three years. These events, which usually last two to three days, involve a substantial contribution of time from bat experts who accomplish in just a few days what would take a small field crew an entire season. Hundreds of volunteers, students, partners, and organizations have teamed up to make these efforts successful. In eight years, program partners have donated more than $10,000 and over 16,000 hours of service with an estimated value of over $350,000.