Bats have an important role to play in our eco-system, and some of them are becoming endangered.
 Importance of Bats in Our Lives

International Bat Night serves to raise awareness from our flying rodent friends and why they deserve to be protected.

History of International Bat Night

International Bat Night was established on august 27, to help promote the good image of bats, and to help start creating some clarity on the facts about them above and beyond the rumors and Hollywood image.

Facts about bats

There are more than 1,200 species of bats

Bats are usually divided into two suborders: Megachiroptera (large Old World fruit bats) and Microchiroptera (small bats found worldwide). They range in size from the giant flying foxes, with wingspans up to 5 feet (1.5 meters), to the itty-bitty bumblebee bat, with only a 6-inch (15-cm) wingspan. There are even three different species of blood-drinking vampire bats.

Bats are the only mammals able to fly

And you thought it was the winged marmoset! Bats are exceptional in the air. Their wings are thin; giving them what is called, in flight terms, "airfoil." The power bats have to push forward is called "propulsion."

Bats aren’t really blind

Only the smaller species of bats use echolocation as their main means of orienting themselves. Bigger bats can see better than humans. Sight is a blessing and a curse, however, because sight can override echolocation signals. For instance, a bat may fly into a window because it sees light outside, even if echolocation tells it the surface is solid.

Vampire bats don't suck blood

They lap it up. Calm down. There are only three species of vampire bats in the whole world. If you are traveling in Central or South America, however, you might see a vampire bat bite a cow and then lick blood from the wound -- no sucking involved.

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What are the benefits of bats?

While we often think of bats as nocturnal predators feasting on the blood of the innocent and harboring rabies, the truth is quite different. Yes, there are bats that feed on blood, but they mostly feed on insects and believe us, you want bats to be out there patrolling the night and helping eliminate them.

Bats are one of the major contributors to keeping down obnoxious night insects like mosquitoes, and if you’re a camper, you know how unpleasant mosquitoes can make an otherwise pleasant camping expedition.     

There are also bats that feed on nectar and fruit, and actually help to pollinate and spread the seed of plants, in many cases they’re the only ones working to help those plants procreate!
These are just the beginnings of the wonders that bats possess, and there is far more just a flicker away, and International Bat Night is a great time to spend learning about them!

What you can do to help bats?

The number of bats in the UK has gone down significantly during the last hundred years, so there are far fewer bats than there used to be. But your support will help us fight to protect bats and other threatened and endangered wildlife.

Don’t use pesticides in your garden or around your home

Not only can the toxins in pesticides be dangerous to bats, but they also kill the insects that bats feed on. Find natural solutions to your pest problem, or better yet, leave the bugs for the bats to eat.

Promote natural bat habitat

Around your home leave dead and dying trees where they don’t create a hazard … these are favored roosting sites for bats.

Avoid disturbing bats

Stay out of caves and mines where bats are hibernating in winter.  If a bat is disturbed during hibernation, it may arouse and become active.  This increased activity can lead to starvation if the bat’s fat reserves are used up before winter is over.

Spread the truth about bats

With more than a thousand species on Earth, there is so much to learn about these animals. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and each one fits into its ecosystem a bit differently. The more people understand about how important bats are the more support we can gather for protecting them and their habitats.
It isn't easy being a bat. With Dracula, a few cases of rabies, their pointy teeth, and the fact that they hang upside down to sleep, bats inspire fear in many people. But as you'll see, bats are amazing creatures, even though they eat bugs . . . and sometimes blood.

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