Celebrate Bats on April 17th
National Bat Appreciation Day occurs annually on April 17th. April is the best time of the year to observe bats, as they are now beginning to emerge from hibernation. National Bat Appreciation Day is also an excellent time to learn about the role bats play in nature. One important reason to celebrate bats is that they are considered to be an “insectivorous” creature because they rid our world of many insects that could otherwise devour crops and spread disease. In one hour, a bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes.
Video of Bats from Texas and Borneo
I created this video slide show from photographs my partner, Stephen Shunk of Paradise Birding, took from several trips we made to especially ‘baty’ places, including Texas and Borneo.
Bats Face Many Challenges
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 26 of the world’s bat species as Critically Endangered, 52 others are Endangered, and 954 bat species are considered Vulnerable.
Threats include not only the usual suspects facing other mammals; like habitat loss, hunting for ‘bush meat’, and pesticides, but they are also killed during the mining of guano in caves they inhabit, killed by wind turbines, killed due to misguided myths and, increasingly, from White-nose Syndrome.
Bats deserve our protection. They serve as important pollinators of plants, dispersers of seeds, and controllers of harmful insect populations.