The bat man returns to DickinsonThe much-anticipated "The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters across the nation Friday, but a real-life bat man has returned to western North Dakota.
The much-anticipated "The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters across the nation Friday, but a real-life bat man has returned to western North Dakota.
Joseph Poissant, a graduate student and researcher from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, has decided to give Dickinson another run.
“I didn’t get any the species that I wanted from Dickinson itself,” he said of his visit to the urban area last year.
Poissant will be in the town today as part of his research to find out how bats have colonized in European settlements and cities, he said. There are multiple branches of interest when it comes to researching bats, he added.
“I just think bats are cool,” he said. “They’re interesting from a social and behavioral perspective. They come back to the same place every year.”
Bats like to nest in trees but can also be found in old, brick buildings. They can’t destroy buildings but like to find cavities to settle in, he said.
Once Poissant locates the rodent, he takes a skin sample, identifies the sex, age and species and then let’s them fly.
About a dozen people from Dickinson contacted the graduate last year. He recovered 30 specimens from the city, though he was surprised he didn’t find big brown bats, which is the species he was working with.
“Everybody had little brown bats, which is the other common species in North America, which is pretty surprising,” he said. “I’ve seen (big brown bats) flying around, but I haven’t been able to find any colonies living in town.”
He also found 27 in Lincoln and 13 in Beach.
Dickinson Animal Control Officer Vern Nelson has had one call to remove a bat this year, and they are seldom a problem in the area.
“Don’t use the entrance way,” he said if a person has one in their building. “Be very cautious with them because bats carry rabies.”
James Kramer, Dickinson Parks and Recreation director, said he hasn’t heard of any problems with bats in the area but knows they are flying around.
People tend to have misconceptions of bats, Poissant said. Residents shouldn’t be afraid of bats but still show caution around them.
“If you see them flying around your house or outside, they can see you,” he said. “They have really good vision. They’re not going to get in your hair. It’s no different from seeing a deer on the side of a road. A deer wants to get away from you just as much as a bat does.”
If anyone knows where bats are hiding in Dickinson, contact Poissant at email@example.com or 701-290-2072.