Travel the World with a Bat Tourist

February 1, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Headquarters
45211 County Road 32B
CA 95618
Yolo Basin Foundation

JoEllen Arnold, Volunteer with NorCal Bats and retired teacher

Many people make special travel plans with hopes to see new species of birds. Why not do the same with a different flighted member of the animal kingdom? On a bat trip, it is possible to travel with bat biologists and bat enthusiasts as they locate and  study bats in the US and around the world. Bat tourists usually support researchers in the country they are traveling in and help to boost public opinion about bats among local people.

Painted Bat in a Banana Leaf (photo: J. Arnold)

JoEllen Arnold will share her adventures traveling to meet some of the 1,300 species of bats and assisting in bat research. She has traveled many places in the world to see bats, including Arizona, Texas, three countries in Africa, two countries in Central America, Germany, and most recently, Thailand. While in Thailand, she encountered the world’s smallest mammal, Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, also known as the bumblebee bat, and one of the world’s largest bats, Lyle’s flying fox.

She taught for over 30 years with a particular passion for introducing her students to the natural world. She met her first bat face to face in 1997 at a workshop about bats in Yosemite and since that life-changing encounter has become a “Missionary for Bats.” In addition to her travels, she has participated in courses in bat conservation in both California and Arizona. She volunteers with NorCal Bats to provide public education about bats and helps with rescue and rehabilitation of our local bats. JoEllen’s mission is to open people’s hearts and minds to these beneficial creatures, which are in grave peril in many parts of the world, including the United States. She employs her skills as a photographer and speaker to support bat conservation.