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Arc of Appalachia Celebrates Bats

Oh, Ohio, where have you been all my life? Such a natural beauty! I recently experienced the elegance of spring in the Appalachians of south-central Ohio, where Merlin was invited to speak at the Wildflower Pilgrimage, an annual event of the nonprofit Arc of Appalachia.

You may wonder, as I did, why an event celebrating wildflowers would invite a bat expert to speak. I got to see why, merely an hour before we left for the airport. The Executive Director and a founder of the Arc of Appalachia system and Executive Director of its Board, Nancy Stranahan, and her husband, Brent Charette, took us to an area where eastern red bats were frequently seen roosting among the dried leaves of beech or oak trees. During the 16 years of the Wildflower Pilgrimage, attendees have seen and commented on these bats and, for some, it was a highlight of the Pilgrimage. So they asked “the planet’s leading expert on bats, Merlin Tuttle,” to be their keynote speaker!

River habitat at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, the Arc of Appalachia’s oldest and largest preserve.

Merlin gave two talks: one in the afternoon for the public, and the other in the evening for Pilgrimage attendees, with a book signing in between. He complimented Arc members on their efforts to preserve forest diversity that provides critical habitat for countless species, including bats, on their more than 9,000 acres of land.

The Executive Director and a founder of the Arc of Appalachia system and Executive Director of its Board, Nancy Stranahan and her husband, Brent Charette.
Merlin presenting keynote address for participants of the Wildflower Pilgrimage at the nearby Paxton Theater.
Shooting Star flowers
US_6_MDT_IMG_E3254 arrow
A well-camouflaged eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis).
Merlin Tuttle explaining a red bat seen in a nearby tree to a Mennonite family in Ohio.
Cliff caves along river.
Merlin and Andrea Jaeger, Director of Land Acquisition and Visitor Services for the Highlands Nature Sanctuary.
Typical shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) habitat frequently used by roosting bats, including endangered Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis).
Loose bark of the kind used by several species of Ohio bats, including the endangered Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis).
John Jaeger, Naturalist, a longtime leader in Ohio habitat conservation and father of the Director of Land Acquisition and Visitor Services for the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, Andrea Jaeger, proudly displaying his MTBC t-shirt.
Merlin signing books for participants of the 2023 Wildflower Pilgrimage at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary in Ohio.
Trail flanked by protected caves in Highlands Nature Sanctuary.

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Michael Lazari Karapetian

Michael Lazari Karapetian has over twenty years of investment management experience. He has a degree in business management, is a certified NBA agent, and gained early experience as a money manager for the Bank of America where he established model portfolios for high-net-worth clients. In 2003 he founded Lazari Capital Management, Inc. and Lazari Asset Management, Inc.  He is President and CIO of both and manages over a half a billion in assets. In his personal time he champions philanthropic causes. He serves on the board of Moravian College and has a strong affinity for wildlife, both funding and volunteering on behalf of endangered species.