The bats that hibernate all winter in Sodalis Nature Preserve are starting to wake up and become active. There will be a Night Hike through Sodalis Nature Preserve at 7 p.m. April 9.
Gale Rublee, nature educator for Hannibal Parks & Recreation, will lead the hikes. “When exactly do the bats start leaving the old lime kiln mines at Sodalis? Well, it depends on several factors from outside air temperature, food supply, and the stirring in their little bodies that Spring is arriving and it’s time to find their forest homes,” she said. “If it’s a warm night, we might see some bats beginning to emerge.”
Sodalis Nature Preserve was named for the myotis sodalis (Indiana bat) species that was discovered in the park. Bat scientists are estimated that about 200,000 of the bats hibernate in the abandoned limestone mines.
The full Night Hike program lasts about two hours and follows a 2-mile paved trail. Participants are welcome to stay with the group or return to the parking lot on their own. Activities include seasonal observations, sensory activities and the telling of the creation of Sodalis Nature Preserve.
Reservations must be made by calling Hannibal Parks & Recreation at 221-0154 or by emailing mlrichards@hannibal-mo.gov.
Nature programs and hikes are led by 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.