Learn about hydrology, bats, ticks on Orono Bog Boardwalk

A series of nature walks will be offered at the Orono Bog Boardwalk beginning Aug. 10. All walks will begin at the start of the boardwalk, and participants are asked to meet at the cabin. 

To register, email james.bird@maine.edu with “Boardwalk Walk” in the subject line, and provide a telephone number in case of a weather cancellation.

“Hydrology of Bogs and Fens — Where does the water go?” will be offered at 9 a.m. Aug. 10, led by Andy Reeve, professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at the University of Maine. Water is continuously percolating beneath the boardwalk. This slow and steady movement of water influences the development of peatlands (bogs and fens) and affects the living ecosystem. Reeve will discuss how groundwater movement is evaluated, the reasons for peat accumulation, and recent hydrology research at Orono Bog related to the linkage between peatlands and greenhouse gases.

“Bat Walk” will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21 (rain date Aug. 22), led by Erik Blomberg, assistant professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology at UMaine. Maine is home to eight different species of bats, many of which are of high conservation concern because of huge population declines related to white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has decimated populations of cave-hibernating bats throughout the United States. During this walk in Bangor City Forest, specialized recording equipment (bat detectors) will be used to detect and record echolocation calls so participants can identify which species are present.

“Tick and Mosquito Walk” will be offered at 9 a.m. Aug. 31, led by Allie Gardner, assistant professor of arthropod vector biology in the School of Biology and Ecology at UMaine. This walk will cover mosquitoes and ticks that transmit infectious diseases to humans, companion animals and wildlife in Maine, as well as some beneficial mosquito species. There will be a discussion about ongoing vector-borne disease research in Maine and participants will look for mosquitoes.