On the mainland, northern long-eared bats are quickly becoming rare sights as they fall victim to a disease called white-nose syndrome. The disease has never been documented on Martha's Vineyard. The bats here are safe, at least for the time being.
The bat detector sputtered and crackled from its post along Middle Cove Loop at Long Point Wildlife Refuge. It hadn’t yet made the telltale repeating noises that occur when an echolocating bat flies by, but by the time wildlife monitor Luke Elder returned to collect the device in the morning, numerous sonar squeaks had been recorded.
Felix Neck and Sharky’s Cantina are working together to educate people about the connection between what they eat or drink and the natural world around us. For example, bats pollinate the cactus and agave plants that tequila is distilled from, so without bats, there would be no margaritas.
Growing up on the Vineyard, I long ago came to terms with finding wildlife in my house.
Ticks, spiders, mosquitoes and moths in summer; mice (both in traps and scurrying across dining room floors) in the winter. Once, a pair of baby raccoons camped out in our yard. Had I opened the backdoor, they would have waddled right into our dining room.
But no amount of Island insects, rodents, or bugs could have prepared me for the Cambridge bat.