Bat Conservation International’s Bat House Project has a new name and a new coordinator. Wildlife Biologist Mylea Bayless, a Colorado native, is the new Artificial Roosts Coordinator. She succeeds longtime Bat House Project coordinator Mark Kiser, who has moved on to tackle new wildlife challenges in Florida.
Mylea already has begun working with BCI’s partners to evaluate past efforts and redefine future directions for this important program. She will be building on our past successes to develop a new program that will incorporate the most dynamic components of BCI’s previous Bat House, Bats in Bridges, and Bats in Buildings projects.
The BCI program began officially in 1993 as the North American Bat House Research Project. For more than a decade, this program worked with thousands of volunteer Research Associates who reported data collected from bat houses throughout the continent. BCI analyzed and shared those data, and the results have improved bat house designs and dramatically increased success rates for bat houses.
BCI will, of course, remain the number one source for information and advice on bat houses, but the program is expanding its reach. Increasingly, BCI and its partners are also developing new alternative roosts to meet the needs of bats displaced by the loss of old-growth trees that offer such bat-friendly features as extra-large hollows.
Mylea, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Wildlife Biology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, will chart that new course. And readers can expect to see articles and updates from her in the electronic newsletter.
She was raised with biology: Her father worked for the National Park Service and included both his children in his career. She spent summers volunteering at Dinosaur National Monument, where she held her first bats in her early teenage years.
She spent the first seven years of her career as a wildlife biologist (research associate) at Colorado State University, Humboldt State University and the University of Minnesota. Before joining Bat Conservation International, Mylea worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, researching the response of bats and other wildlife to forest restoration.