David Redell, a bat ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and one of the nation’s leading bat researchers and conservationists, was recently recognized by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which presented him with their Silver Eagle Award. The award is the service’s highest honor and is given in recognition to people and organizations that have made an impressive contribution to wildlife conservation and management.
Since beginning his graduate research in 1997, Redell has made significant contributions to bat conservation in Wisconsin. Redell identified major hibernacula, developed monitoring techniques and advanced our knowledge of basic bat ecology. In turn, his studies led to the development of appropriate management and protection of Wisconsin’s hibernacula and bat population.
Redell has served as Wisconsin’s lead bat ecologist for nearly a decade. Even before the threat of white-nose syndrome, Redell recognized the need to more actively manage bat populations and created the Wisconsin Bat Program. This program includes statewide data collection utilizing citizen scientists, white-nose syndrome surveillance, maternity roost monitoring and a comprehensive education and outreach effort. In addition, Redell personally established the Wisconsin Bat Conservation Fund, an endowment to support these bat conservation efforts into the future.
“David’s leadership, innovation, willingness to engage the public, vision and passion for conservation is a model for us all,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.
Redell’s support of bat conservation has not been limited to Wisconsin. “David has been an active voice and presence in national research and decision-making groups regarding bat conservation and white-nose syndrome” said Kurt Thiede, DNR Division of Lands administrator. “David has truly dedicated his life to the conservation of bats at both the regional and national level.”
USFWS representatives from the Washington DC office and Region 3 headquarters traveled to Madison to present the award in person.
Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources