The bats that hibernate all winter in Sodalis Nature Preserve are waking up from their winter hibernation and bat scientists have been conducting a bat migration study to find out where the bats go in the summer.

There will be a night hike through Sodalis Nature Preserve at 7 p.m. April 23, sponsored by Hannibal Parks & Recreation.  The full Night Hike program lasts about two hours and follows a 2.5-mile paved trail but participants are welcome to stay for the first hour then return to the parking lot. Activities include seasonal observations, sensory activities and the telling of the creation of Sodalis Nature Preserve.

Bat scientists and researchers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Missouri Department of Conservation temporarily captured 60 bats last week. The bats were caught in a lightweight mist net and were weighed and measured before getting miniature radio transmitters glued to their backs. The bats were then released back in Sodalis Nature Preserve.

Iwona Kuczynska, the lead wildlife biologist who coordinated the study, said the bats are being tracked with telemetry-equipped airplane and ground vehicles.

There will be a strict limit of 20 participants and reservations must be made by calling Hannibal Parks & Recreation at 221-0154 or by emailing

Nature programs and hikes are led by Gale Rublee, a nationally certified interpreter guide with more than 30 years experience as a nature educator and storyteller. She is a founding member of the Mississippi Hills Missouri Master Naturalist Chapter in Hannibal. As a nationally certified interpreter guide, she loves interpreting natural and human history for Hannibal residents and visitors alike.