Photo credits: Ann Froschauer, U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service
This little brown bat is not hiding, it hibernates. In order to survive months without food, bats slow down their body functions – such as body temperature, heart rate and respiration – to save energy.
What is Bat Week?
Bat Week is an annual international celebration of the role of bats in nature. The Bat Week is organized by a team of representatives from the United States and Canada by conservation organizations and government agencies. This year it falls on the 24th to 31st of October
There are more than 1,300 species of bats worldwide, which is almost 20 percent of all mammal species. Bats live all over the world with the exception of the most extreme desert and polar regions. So, no matter where you live, there are probably bats that live near you.
Bats have long been associated with Halloween, vampires and evil, possibly because of their love of nightlife and the fact that a few species – just living in Latin America – actually do blood.
But before you make "Bat Exterminator" from Google, you should understand the benefits of flying mammals.
Small brown bats, long-legged myotis, and the other dozen 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 pollination of plants. The saliva of Latin America's vampire bats has been used in a drug that helps prevent strokes.
Although bats can not give people superhuman abilities, it's no wonder that they are screened through movies like "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 efforts to promote nocturnal animals and their benefits. The BCI warns that bat populations around the world are declining, in part due to over-hunting and loss of habitat.
One way to improve the bat population and eliminate mosquitoes and other pests is to create a bat house where the animals can be born and their young raised.