Michicgan-Based Wildlife and Bat Management Firm Offers Bat Conservation Scholarship

Aspiring bat biologists to benefit from Critter Catchers, Inc. business approach.

Detroit, MI, October 28, 2007 --(PR.com)-- Halloween’s traditional frightful pack — featuring black cats, goblins, witches astride broomsticks and more — could soon be losing a long-standing member of the scare crew, the greatly misunderstood bat. The Indiana State University Center for North American Bat Research (the Bat Center), in conjunction with the Michigan based Critter Catchers, Inc. is proud to offer the Critter Catchers, Inc. - Bat Conservation Scholarship encouraging a better understanding of the world’s sole mammal capable of actual flight. Information regarding the scholarship can be found at: www.crittercatchersinc.com.

“There are so many misconceptions about bats, centered around the idea that they should be avoided or dispensed with. That’s not the case at all,” said John Whitaker Jr., professor, Ecology and Organismal Biology at Indiana State University and one of the co-authors of “Bats of Indiana” which is offered at the Bat Center. “Bats are the main predator against a wide range of insects at night, including those harmful to our agricultural crops. They really bring balance to nature. This scholarship – the first offered to the Bat Center – will be a big help in encouraging students to share a role within our research facility, which is probably staffed with the largest team of bat biologists in North America. Many people study bats, and we’re hoping to spread that message to a much larger audience.”

The annual scholarship opportunity is open to a worthy student, or students, enrolled at Indiana State University, and will be administered by the Indiana State University Foundation Inc., of Terre Haute. Recipients will be selected based upon meeting specified criteria, as well as the recommendations of a scholarship committee consisting of ISU Bat Center and Organization for Bat Conservation members. The criteria:

· Recipients of the Bat Conservation Scholarship must be associated with the Bat Center, and be enrolled as full-time students in the Department of Ecological and Environmental Sciences.
· First preference will be given to graduate students.
· Undergraduate students may be considered, if the applicant is actively engaged with the ISU Bat Center, or has demonstrated a strong interest in the study of bats.
· Recipients must maintain a cumulative 3.0 grade point average, based on a 4.0 scale.

“Humans instinctively fear the things in our world that we don’t understand,” said David Kugler, president, Critter Catchers, Inc., the Michigan-based wildlife management firm. “And bats, unfortunately, seem to land at the top of that list, regardless of the many benefits they provide, like insect control around the home and garden. When the general public attempts to get bats out of their home, the natural reaction is to harm the bat with a tennis racket or a baseball bat. That approach is certainly going to damage lamps and picture frames, and it’s definitely not our suggested approach in dealing with an animal weighing ounces, not pounds.”

About the Indiana State University Center for North American Bat Research — Founded in 2005, the Bat Center’s mission is to conduct and encourage basic and applied research on North American bats, by collaborating with students and other scientists, and to make findings available to the scientific community and the public through technical and popular publications, teaching and outreach programs. The Center held a Bat Festival at Indiana State University on August 7, 2007 in conjunction with the Organization for Bat Conservation quartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The first publication of the Bat Center was “Bats of Indiana” and it was introduced at the Bat Festival. For more information, visit: www.indstate.edu/ecology/centers/bat.htm

About Critter Catchers, Inc. — Founded in 2005, the Ortonville, Mich.-based Critter Catchers, Inc. was formed by David Kugler, an Oakland University graduate holding a Bachelors of Science in Biology, and a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from Wayne State University. Working during college for a local animal control business, Kugler later applied those lessons learned by opening his company, which applies a humane approach to bat removal and control. Serving commercial and residential customer in southeastern Michigan, the Critter Catchers, Inc. team removes and relocates a wide array of wildlife, including skunks, squirrels, raccoons, bats, opossums and more. For more information, and to view reports from scholarship recipients at the end of the scholarship award period, visit www.crittercatchersinc.com.

Critter Catchers, Inc.
Dave Kugler