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Westfield State Guest Lecture Series features Biologist Michael Fishman

WESTFIELD- Westfield State University will begin its spring 2017 Guest Lecture Series with “The Long Island Century Bat Survey,” by Certified Wildlife Biologist Michael Fishman. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, February 21 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Scanlon Banquet Hall.

Fishman is currently the director of the Biological Field Services at Environmental Resources Management, an international sustainability consultancy firm. For the past 25 years of his career, he has focused on threatened and endangered species of bats. Fishman’s latest project is the Long Island Century Bat Survey (LICBS), one of the most comprehensive bat surveys conducted on Long Island in the past 100 years.

Fishman began work on the Long Island Century Bat Survey to determine the effects the fungus White Nose Syndrome (WNS) had on the bat populations of Long Island. WNS has caused dramatic drops in the bat population size in the past decade, with some species losing up to 95 percent of their population size.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center, farms are suffering from this outbreak because insect suppression services provided by bats to U.S. agriculture is valued between 4 to 50 billion dollars per year.

“Mr. Fishman has found some striking patterns in the current survey between bats on the mainland and those on Long Island, which will be interesting in terms of the distribution of White Nose Syndrome,” said Associate Professor of Environmental Science Dr. John McDonald, who organized the lecture.

Fishman will discuss the results of the Long Island Century Bat Survey as well as the research that stemmed from the LICBS. He will also touch on the effects of WNS on long-term bat species conservation efforts. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.westfield.ma.edu/guest-lecture-series.