Clair Keene, a researcher at The Pennsylvania State University, and her colleagues wanted to find the perfect time to crimp-kill a cover crop: grown long enough to make biomass adequate to suppress weeds, but not far enough along to make seeds.
Most people probably think of bats as spooky bloodsuckers – especially in October. However, many species of bats play valuable roles in ecosystems – they can be pollinators, and prey on insect pests like mosquitos.
To make these furry winged friends more welcome on the ranch, the Kerr Center put up bat houses. Little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), native to the ranch, normally roost under tree bark. The bat box design used on the Kerr Center features narrow slots that mimic the tight space under the bark, and screen wire to give the creatures a firm foothold.