What do Bananas, Tequila, Figs and Chocolate have in Common?

Do you know what these items have in common? Any guesses?

Let’s start with bananas… did you know bananas are pollinated by bats? Or that tequila, which comes from the Agave plant, is also pollinated by bats? Figs? They are not pollinated by bats but many bats EAT them and then spread their seeds far and wide–indirectly helping the figs. And chocolate? According to BCI (Bat Conservation International) “economists estimate that without bats controlling pest populations, cocoa bean yields would fall by up to 22%.”

So bananas, tequila, figs and chocolate are all helped, indirectly and directly, by bats. Know what else is on this list? Guava is also pollinated by bats. Cashews, papaya,jackfruit and dates are also foods supported by bat seed dispersal. And sugar, walnuts, rice, coffee, corn, pears, macadamia, cucumbers,almonds and pecans are also foods supported by bat pest control.

Fruit bats in Thailand

Fruit bats in Thailand

Did you know this is BAT WEEK? Have you heard of this? Bat week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature. This year it goes from October 25th through the 31st.

YOU can take part in this celebration. One of the ways is by building a bat box.

Bat box

Bat box

bci2-1767BCI has a goal of building  5000 new bat boxes! Putting up bat boxes is a great way to attract bats and give them a safe place to live. Why would you want to do that? Because bats EAT A REALLY LOT OF INSECTS! A bat the size of an average-person’s hand can eat up to 1000 mosquito-sized insects in ONE HOUR! This is incredible. Getting rid of mosquitoes in your yard surely must sound like a great idea!

Click HERE to find about bat-box-building events NEAR YOU.

If you already have a bat box, or don’t want to take part in this way, you can celebrate bat week by spreading the word about these important creatures and helping dispel some common and very widespread myths. Click HERE for some of those myths or HERE for 5 ways YOU can help bats.

If you take part in Bat Week, I’d love to hear about it! Drop me a quick note.

Bats in Thailand

Bats in Thailand

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This entry was posted in Animals, Call to Action!, Did you know..., Just for Fun, Mammals, Nature NOW and tagged , , , , .

2 Comments

  1. Bea Lothrop November 2, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    Hello Sharon…..Bats are one of my favorite creatures:)
    A few weeks ago I found a desiccated bat in my “barn” by the bees. I was so surprised because it looked like he had been dining on some styrofoam on a shelf. The barn door does not fit well so I would have imagined he could get out?
    At any rate….his body is perfect and his fur is soft as silk. Would you like him for your teaching collection?
    Hugs
    Bea

    • Sharon Mammoser November 4, 2015 at 6:52 am #

      Hey Bea! Glad to hear you like bats too–it is always nice to find more of “us.” Bummer about the dead bat in your barn. Maybe he just got disoriented and couldn’t find his way. Who knows…but yes I would love to have him although I don’t exactly know how I would go about preserving him. ? I will have to read on it. Let’s plan to meet.

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