Going Batty

A biologist holds an young-of-the-year Indiana Bat caught with a net placed in the air over a logging road in Orwell, Vt., Tuesday evening, July 17, 2001. Teams of scientists have been fanning out across Addison County this week trying to learn the summer habits of the endangered Indiana bats. (AP Photo/Alden Pellett)A bat may not be as cute as a button, but like buttons, bats certainly hold things together in a healthy ecosystem. Bats devour millions of mosquitoes every night. Bats pollinate flowers that produce fruit. Bats produce guano, or bat poop, which is very useful as a fertilizer to help grow crops. Without bats, clouds of bugs would drive us batty. Without bats we would miss out on quite a few fruits like mangoes, bananas and peaches.

Bats with White-Nose Fungus

Bats with White-Nose Fungus

Many species of bats are now seriously endangered. A spreading fungus has wiped out large numbers and bat habitats have been taken over by humans. It’s not easy being a bat.

Going Batty

Minor Epauletted Bat from Kenya

Minor Epauletted Bat from Kenya

It’s not so easy being me

I’m an endangered bat, you see

Not many think I’m very cute

With stringy wings and fuzzy suit



I should be loved, because I try

Echo-Locating Dinner

Echo-Locating Dinner

To eat the pests that multiply

I nightly dine on bugs that bite

By echo-dining while in flight



The farmers think we bats are great

We help the plants we pollinate

But though we’re popular on farms


Bat Pollinating Flower

Most other folk don’t see our charms



The darling Pandas get the press

Us bats are jealous, we confess

But we work hard from dusk till dawn

The world will miss us when we’re gone


What can we do to help these vulnerable critters? One thing that helps is to build bat houses. Did you know that Batman, from the new movie version, has come to the rescue of bats? The cast and crew of the upcoming movie, “Batman vs. Superman; the Dawn of Justice.” have made over a hundred new bat houses from the materials taken from the movie sets. If you weren’t able to buy one of those houses, you can make your own and give your local bats a place to safely roost. Here is a link to building houses for bats: National Wildlife Federation Bat House Plans

Bat Boxes

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