Cheers, Eryk!

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.”

– Ernie Harwell

Eryk Matczak weighing a bat in a holding bag

The Native Bat Conservation Program is saying goodbye to one of its integral and founding members, Eryk Matczak. Him and his partner along with their new puppy are about to take off on a new adventure.

Eryk first joined the Toronto Zoo in 2015 with Adopt A Pond and split his time between reptiles, amphibians, and bats (#ThrowbackThursday: Meet Eryk)

Eryk with his very first bat: a big brown bat (known for their grumpy dispositions)

Eryk has been vital to the success of the Native Bat Conservation Program since the beginning. Eryk’s interest focused on developing community engagement throughout Ontario. This led to partnerships and relationships with First Nations communities through acoustic monitoring. To this day, most of those communities continue monitoring bats on their land.

In 2019, The Toronto Zoo was approached by the Friends of Cedarbrook and Thomson Memorial Park, who were looking to find ways to learn more about bats in their own neighbourhood and engage their community. Eryk worked alongside these dedicated members and helped get them set up and analyzed their data. Eryk hopes this project eventually expands throughout the GTA after his departure.

left to right: Jasmine Anthony, Melissa Donnelly, Eryk Matczak showing off the practically invisible bat nets

He has been an absolute pleasure to work with and get to know. Thankfully, his presence will forever be immortalized through our Bat Diaries series, and his instructional videos on how to install a bat detector.

We wish him all the best and look forward to when we can get together and have that BBQ for a proper send off party!