The Ontario Bat Network Speaker Series

March 2020, the 2nd Ontario Bat Meeting was held by the Toronto Zoo’s Native Bat Conservation Program. Many braved the winter storm to see the latest in bat conservation in Ontario with representatives from renewable energy, wildlife rehabilitation, academia, and more coming together to share their work. At the end of the meeting, several members agreed to keep the momentum going and volunteered to form an “Organizing Committee” to ensure that the 3rd Ontario Bat Meeting took place. Then COVID19 struck, and well, we all know how that story continues to unfold… This did not deter our group as we’ve continued to meet regularly online to help accomplish our goal, but we quickly realised the need to set up a more permanent forum to facilitate our incredible bat community. Thus, the fledgling organization, The Ontario Bat Network (OBN), was born.

With our original goal in mind, and the prospects of an in-person meeting being unlikely in the near term, we decided to get some presenters together to make sure that we still delivered a healthy dose of current research and bat work out to the broader Ontario bat community and launched an #OBNSpeakerSeries. Speakers presented on environmental contaminants, habitat modelling, acoustic monitoring, and WNS. To accommodate everyone’s schedules, and reduce Zoom fatigue, we have made these presentations available on our YouTube channel. Though our virtual 2021 speaker series has come to an end, we plan and hope for an in-person Ontario Bat Meeting in 2022, but also intend to welcome presenters and attendees virtually, so that everyone can keep up with the fascinating world of bats.

For anyone interested in joining the Ontario Bat Network, you can send us an email at and we’ll forward you instructions on how to join the Google mailing list. Alternatively, you can join the Ontario Bat Network Facebook group.

Photo: left to right, top to bottom: Brad Baker (Birks NHC), Ken Welch Jr. (UTSC), Melissa Donnelly (Proyecto CUBABAT), and Gord Parker (Land Based Learning: Holistic Education)- OBN Speaker Series- Subcommittee

For more information and resources, visit the Ontario Bat Network Youtube Channel and Facebook page

Story submitted by the Ontario Bat Network.

This guest blog is the featured story in our Bat Monthly newsletter of June 2021.

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