FWS Scholar : Richard Stark Going to Bat for Bats !

Richard Stark Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Credit: USFWS

Richard Stark is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist at the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge and the national recovery coordinator for the endangered Ozark big-eared bat. Originally known as the Oklahoma Bat Caves National Wildlife Refuge, the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge was established to help prevent the extinction and aid in the recovery of federally-listed Ozark cave species, and to prevent the need to list species of concern in the Ozarks. Stark says :

“One of the most exciting parts of my job is working with others to add high quality tracts to the refuge. It is very satisfying to know the work I am involved with on a daily basis is having a positive impact for fish and wildlife conservation!”

Stark’s position with the refuge is largely recovery based and includes working with partners to implement important recovery and research actions.The Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge currently is about 4,200 acres but recently has been approved to expand to up to 15,000 acres.

This FWS Scholar’s research focuses on the population dynamics of the Ozark big eared bat. Stark obtained a B.Sc. in Wildlife and Fisheries Ecology and his Masters of Zoology from Oklahoma State University. To learn more about the Ozark big-eared bat check out Stark’s co-authored work entitled Population connectivity of endangered Ozark big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii ingens)found in the Journal of Mammalogy ; discoverable via USFWS Conservation library. #FWSscholar

Ozark big eared bat ( Corynorhinus townsendii ingens). Credit: Richard Stark/ USFWS