Just in Time for Halloween!

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Here comes the coolest reason to love bats and embrace National Bat Week.

It has nothing to do with Halloween, vampires or witches. Nope, and it’s not about grossing your friends out with creepy bat pictures. (We posted some of those for ya!)

And though they kill pests that damage crops, pollinate flowers, spread tree and other plant seeds…these are all really great reasons to be concerned with the dwindling population of bats…

Without a doubt our favorite thing about bats is this: they eat mosquitoes. Lots of them.

So, spread the word. This is National Bat Week!

See you on the Trails!

Screenshot 2015-10-26 09.34.42

 

image from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, cpw.state.co.us

 

 

Bats matter in a big way in countless ecosystems around the world. In truth, the only thing scary about bats is the rate at which they’re disappearing.

Bats are a wildly diverse order of mammals, with more than 1,300 species worldwide. About one out of every five mammal species is a bat.

 

Despite the way they’re often depicted in movies and television, most species—around 70 percent—dine on insects, making them invaluable partners in human agriculture by removing crop pests. The rest eat nectar and fruit and serve as some of the best pollinators and seed dispersers on the planet.

Unfortunately, these creatures are in serious trouble.

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“Bats are facing many threats, including impacts from wind energy, loss of habitat, and the disease known as white-nose syndrome,” said Ann Froschauer, a longtime bat advocate.

 

To help inform the world about bats and their plight, the FWS and the USDA have teamed up to present a whole week of bat education and awareness—just in time for Halloween!

“The first National Bat Week is sort of symbolic of growing interest in bat conservation and education,” said Froschauer. “It’s a really great opportunity for us to work with partners like Bat Conservation International, the Organization for Bat Conservation, and the Save Lucy Campaign so that we can educate people about why bats are so important and why we need more bat conservation and research.”

 

—By Jason Bittel, photo gallery by Nicole Werbeck, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/pictures/141030-bats-halloween-vampires-blood/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20151005_pw_dom_lastread more at 
featured image by Sandra Rothenberg won the photo of the week on National Wildlife Federation page: nwf.org
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