Bats play an essential role in our ecosystem, offering free insect control, including damaging agricultural pests, plant pollination and seed dispersal nightly.
These days, bats are in trouble. Since 2006 an estimated 5 million bats have died from a disease called White-nose syndrome.
This disease has spread to 23 states and despite the best efforts by biologists, continues to kill more bats. Here are 5 ways you can help.
1. Educate your family, friends, coworkers, people you meet on the street, etc about the value of bats. You don’t have to be a walking encyclopedia full of bat facts–just let people know that many of the myths about bats are false and that bats are worth protecting. You CAN make a difference! Don’t know much about bats? Read a book called The Secret Lives of Bats by BCI founder, Merlin Tuttle. This is a wonderful resource.
2. Help people you know who complain about bats in their attic. Offer them BCI as a resource so they can learn about how to humanely remove bats and provide a more suitable habitat.
3. If at all possible, put up a bat box. Bats are losing valuable habitat every day, this is one way we can give something back. Buy a box or build a box, read about it and then put it up and wait for them to offer the wonderful free insect removal, including mosquitoes. This is the BEST way to rid your yard of mosquitoes!
4. Become a member of Bat Conservation International, founded by Merlin Tuttle. This organization is based in Austin Texas and is dedicated to conserving bats worldwide. Their website is a fabulous source of information for everything related to bats. Donating money here funds research and education important to the preservation of bats. Or join Merlin Tuttle’s new organization which he established after leaving BCI.
5. Visit a bat location and learn more about these amazing animals. You can find some here.
Bats are truly amazing and not at all deserving of their negative reputation. To learn more about bats visit my Myth Buster page on BATS.