INTERNATIONAL BAT APPRECIATION DAY
Each year on April 17th, National Bat Appreciation Day reminds us of the roles bats play in our daily lives. April is also the best time of the year to observe bats, as they are now beginning to emerge from hibernation. The observance is an excellent time to learn about the role bats play in nature. Since bats are considered to be an “insectivorous” creature, they rid our world of many annoying insects. In one hour, a bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes.
Fun Bat Facts:
- Some species of bats live up to 40 years.
- Bats can see in the dark and use their extreme sense of hearing.
- They also use echolocation to find food.
- A bat’s ability to fly makes them unique. In the mammal world, only bats are naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
- There are over 1,200 known species of bats.
- An estimated 48 species of bats make their home in the United States.
- Nearly 70% of bats are insectivores.
- As pollinators, bats, along with bees and butterflies, provide a vital link to our food supply.
- Bats grow in a variety of sizes. One of the largest bats is the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox bat weighing up to 4 lbs with a wingspan of up to 5 feet, 7 inches.
- Bats are also clean animals, grooming themselves almost constantly.
- North America’s largest urban bat colony is found on the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. An estimated 1,500,000 Mexican Free-Tailed bats live there. This colony of bats eats approximately 10,000 to 30,000 lbs of insects each night. An estimated 100,000 tourists visit the bridge annually to watch the bats leave the roost at twilight.
- One colony of 150 Big Brown bats protects farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
- Almost 40% of American bat species are in severe decline, with some already listed as endangered or threatened.
- Three U.S. states have an official state bat. Texas and Oklahoma named the Mexican Free-Tailed bat their state bat, and Virginia dubbed the Virginia Big-Eared bat their state bat.
HOW TO OBSERVE #BatAppreciationDay
Learn more about bats. Read about them or watch a bat documentary. Share your experiences with bats, too! Use #BatAppreciationDay to post on social media.
INTERNATIONAL BAT APPRECIATION DAY HISTORY
Bat Conservation International (BCI) started and supports International Bat Appreciation Day. The BCI mission is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.
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