Two new condos are going in at Peninsula State Park.
But not the kind you may think.
These structures are 'bat condos' and they'll be used to ensure the viability of the park's large bat population.
Peninsula State Park naturalist Kathleen Harris says the tower-like structures are essentially bigger versions of bat houses.
Harris says one of the condos will be constructed by the Welcker's shelter (where two existing bat houses are at capacity) and the other will go in by the maintenance shop.
Harris says the bat condos are being put up with the help of the Friends of Peninsula State Park, which received a Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grant that will fund a large part of the cost of wood and construction.
At last check the park was still rounding up volunteers to help with the project. You can read more about it here.
Harris says the plan is to install the first condo by August and have both in operation by the spring.
Harris says bats often get a 'bad rap' but they're the number one predator of night flying insects like mosquitoes.
"Even more than that they are very important in our country and other places like South America as a hunter of agricultural pests," says Harris. "So with White-Nose syndrome looming out east -- and it's appeared in Iowa most recently -- there's a lot of concern out there that we're going to lose an important natural insect control if the bat population begins to decline."
Top Photo: Bat condo at Devils Lake State Park, Photo by Skillet Creek Media
Bottom Photo: One of the existing bat houses at the Welcker's Point shelter at Peninsula State Park