One Eagle Scout’s mission to protect bats

By MELISSA DIPENTO

Last year, Nicholas Fuzer was inspired by an article he had read about the depleting population of bats in the region.

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Many bats have White Noise Syndrome, which causes bats to wake up from hibernation, leaving the creatures with little to no energy. Many bats die as a result of fatigue.

The Lenape High School Senior decided to tackle the problem and try to solve the issue. Fuzer, as an Eagle Scout, was also working up to his merit badge. He knew this would be the perfect project for him to work on.

Last fall, Fuzer began the process of building 60 bat houses. The houses, Fuzer said, measured 2 feet tall by 18 inches wide and 4 inches deep. Each home holds about 80 bats.

The first phase of his project was to cut all the wood to make the houses. A local cabinetry supplier helped Fuzer cut the wood.

Then, Fuzer constructed each of the 60 houses in his backyard. Fuzer said that putting the houses together was a highlight for him.

Fuzer painted each house black, in order to reduce the amount of sunlight so the bats can hibernate more comfortably.

“I just wanted to build them a place to live and reproduce and protect them from the elements,” Fuzer said.

Fuzer added 20 bat houses along the Rancocas Creek. Fuzer donated the other 40 houses to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. The additional 40 homes will be installed in areas in the region where the organization would like to enhance roosting habitat or maternity sites.

Fuzer said he was happy to complete the project and learn more about the region’s bat population.

“I learned a lot about them and how they help the environment,” Fuzer said. “They help to keep the environment bug free. It’s really interesting.”

After years of service to the Scouts, Fuzer will be honored for his work in late March.

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