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Despite two scores in a 58-second span in the fourth quarter, Riverhead could not overcome a 21-point deficit and dropped a 21-14 Division II decision to East Islip Saturday afternoon to spoil its homecoming. (more…)
Riverhead High School held its annual homecoming parade on Main Street Saturday morning. (more…)
Don’t be afraid of that dangling bat this Halloween — odds are it’s not real.
Biology experts warn that North American bat populations — including those found on Long Island — are declining, and at an alarming rate due to a newly documented condition known as White Nose Syndrome.
“Bats that are common to the North Fork are some of the most threatened bat species,” said Bill Schutt, a zoologist and professor at LIU Post who is an expert on endangered bats. “The most common here is the little brown bat.”
Mr. Schutt will discuss local bat populations Sunday at a North Fork Audubon Society workshop at Peconic Lane Community Center. The workshop starts at 2 p.m.
Mr. Schutt said bat species don’t get the credit they are owed, overshadowed by myths and the common perception that the flying mammals are just rodents.
“Bats take over the birds’ job at night,” he said, explaining that significant losses to bat populations could mean an increase in insect populations.
“The more insects that are present, the more insecticides will be used, entering in the environment and collecting in the water table,” he said.
One little brown bat consumes thousands of insects each night, eating its body weight in food, according to the nonprofit organization.
A total of nine bat species live in New York, none of which are considered “vampire bats,” which drink blood and likely drive the misconception of bat populations. Those species are found in southern Mexico, Central America, and South America; the bats drink blood of cows, goats, pigs, and chickens, according to the organization.
This time of year, bats will be heading north, to the mines and caves of upstate New York and Pennsylvania, and as far north as Canada, where they go into hibernation. In those caves bats are catching White Nose Syndrome, a white fungus that thrives in cold environments. It grows on a bat and can wake it from hibernation, wasting its precious stored energy and often contributing to its death.
The fungus has killed an estimated 5.7 million bats in eastern North America since it was documented in the 2006-’07 winter, killing 90 to 100 percent of bats in caves affected by the fungus.
“It’s such a horror show,” Mr. Schutt said of entering affected caves.
About 80 percent of deaths in caves he’s researched have been to the little brown bat species, he said.
“There are many other species that are affected, but this one is affected most,” he said.
People can help the local little brown bat population by putting up bat houses and planting wildflower gardens, he said.
Should you find a bat in the attic — especially during hibernation season — let it be, Mr. Schutt said. It will leave come spring, giving homeowners an opportunity to better secure the area.
For more information on bats or White Nose Syndrome visit www.savebats.org.
For more information about Sunday’s event, contact Peggy Lauber at
516-526-9095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riverhead school officials are in the process of phasing in a new district-wide system that allows parents to track their child’s academic records online.
David Wicks, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, gave a presentation about the district’s parent portal at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting and said all high school teachers are now using the software. (more…)
The town may be changing its code so it could plow private roads.
But only during supervisor-declared snow emergencies, according to a proposal to list such roads in the town code for emergency purposes. (more…)