Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - Bat Week (just in time for Halloween!)

This week is National Bat Week!  See below for why we should save bats and go to for more information!
It’s a fact bats play a key role in maintaining the health of the environment. Healthier bats mean a healthier world.
They are the primary predator of nighttime insects. A single bat can eat up to 5,000 in a single night.
This means farmers can use fewer pesticides, which means safer food. And all that bug-eating saves the American agricultural industry about $23 billion a year.
Also, bats are great pollinators and seed dispersers. They help repopulate plants, maintain forests, grow fruits like bananas and are the only pollinators of agave. Tequila, anyone?
When you consider all this, there’s no question that bats are friends to humans. Sure, some of them may not be the cutest and cuddliest, but they are our friends nonetheless.
White-nose Syndrome is bat threat number one. It’s caused by a fungus and has killed more than 6 million bats to date.
Climate change–need we say more?
Loss of natural habitat. Like anything else, if you don’t have a place to live, it’s hard to survive.
Add it all up and conservationists around the globe are extremely concerned that bats may be headed for extinction.
Be a friend of the bats. If you like the planet and tequila and pesticide-free food, then get involved. Put up a bat house, plant bat-friendly gardens, donate to the cause. And be sure to like us on Facebook to find out more ways to help Save the Bats.
Our favorite bat facts
Bats are the only flying mammals! Flying squirrels only glide.
The order that bats are in is called “Chiroptera,” meaning hand-wing. The bat wing structure is very similar to your hand!
There are more than 1,200 different species of bats in the world, making up about a quarter of all mammal species.
The largest bat in the world is the Malayan Flying Fox. It weighs 2 pounds and has a 6-foot wingspan!
The smallest bat in the world is the Kitties hog-nosed bat, also known as a Bumblebee bat. It weighs as much as a dime and has a 6-inch wingspan.
Most bats live in large groups. They often live in dead trees, caves, bat houses, human buildings, rock crevices, and the underside of bridges.
One insect-eating bat consumes about 2,000 to 6,000 insects each night.
There are three species of vampire bats. They all live in southern Mexico, Central America, and South America and drink blood from cows, goats, pigs, and chickens. But don’t worry about the animals—Vampire bats only drink one tablespoon of blood each night.
Some species of bats have been detected flying more than 50 miles per hour. That is almost as fast as you drive on the highway!
Bats live a very long time. Most bats live between 10 and 20 years.
Bats cannot stand upright because they have very small pelvic girdles. They hang upside down nearly all the time, including when they are eating, drinking and socializing.
Bats usually have one baby once a year. Bat babies typically weigh about 25% of an adult at birth. If humans were to have babies that big, newborn humans would be the size of a toddler!