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.
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.
BCI 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