Credit: Ann Froschauer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This little brown bat is not hiding, it’s hibernating. In order to survive months without food, bats slow down their bodily functions – like body temperature, heart rate and breathing – to conserve energy.
What is Bat Week?
Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature. Bat Week is organized by a team of representatives from across the United States and Canada from conservation organizations and government departments. This year, it falls on Oct. 24-31.
Worldwide, there are more than 1,300 species of bats, which is almost 20 percent of all mammal species. Bats live everywhere on Earth except the most extreme desert and Polar Regions. So, no matter where you live, chances are there are bats living near you.
Bats have long been associated with Halloween, vampires and evil, possibly due to their penchant for the nightlife and the fact that a few species – which only live in Latin America – actually do your on blood.
However, before you Google “bat exterminator,” you should understand the benefits of the flying mammals.
Little brown bats, long legged myotis and the other boxes species of bats found in Idaho County help control pests by devouring thousands of mosquitoes and other insects every night.
Bats also help with seed dispersal and plant pollination.
Although bats can not give people super-human abilities, it’s no wonder they’ve been celebrated on the silver screen through movies such as ” Batman “and” Hotel Transylvania. “
The US Department of the Interior, Forest Service, Bat Conservation International and other organizations are currently celebrating Bat Week as part of an effort to promote the nocturnal creatures and their benefits. The BCI warns that bat populations around the world are declining, partly due to overhunting and a loss of habitat.
One way to help improve the bat population and eliminate mosquitoes and other pests is to create a bat house, which provides a place for the animals to give birth and raise their young.