Why are bats endangered?
Bats are endangered simply due to a loss of habitat. Rainforests, caves and other nesting areas for bats are being destroyed, blocked or knocked down which means there are fewer places for bats to go to get the shelter and warmth that they need to rest through their winter.
Without having been well-rested throughout the winter, bats lack energy which means they may not even make it to sleep through next year’s winter. For this reason, a bat’s winter’s sleep shouldn’t be interrupted or stopped due to a lack of places to go and hide away. That’s why if you have a suitable outdoor area, you should consider purchasing or creating a home for bats, to keep them safe and secure.
How do bats survive?
In the winter bats will either migrate to a warmer place or hybernate. Bats usually have one pup or kit a year and roost in large groups to keep both themselves and their young warm. They are picky about their homes, simply because they need the right temperature and food to survive, and unfortunately the majority of species eat different food from each other, varying from fish to insects, to fruit, depending on the type of bat’s preference and diet and the three species of Vampire Bats drink blood.
Many bats are becoming endangered as their homes are being knocked down, providing fewer places for bats to live. The rainforests are a good example of this point, as the rainforests used to cover 12% of the earth, and now cover only 2%… Now the majority of the bats that used to hybernate in those rainforests will have to find somewhere else to spend their winters.
How do bats help people?
Many people think that bats don’t benefit us humans in any way and wonder why some of us are so passionate about saving bats. Well, what they are unaware of is that bats help us in many ways.
Micro bat’s echolocation: Did you know that Micro bat’s echolocation censoring is being studied to see if we can duplicate it to assist the blind.
Bats get rid of insects: One thing that never falls less of an advantage for anyone is that bats eat mosquitoes and other insects that ruin crops.
Bats pollinate our fruit and nuts: Other bats pollinate our favourite fruit and nuts. Not only do they pollinate fruit and nuts for us humans, they also spread seeds throughout the rainforest, which helps the world to new growth, which is always a good thing.
Bats droppings: Another important factor that shouldn’t be forgotten is that guano (bat’s droppings) is the best plant fertiliser known to man.
Last and not least, Vampire bats also have a special blood thinning chemical in their saliva that we study and use.
There are laws against ill treating bats. If found guilty of any of the following offences there are fines to be paid which are up to £5,000 pound for each offence or bat involved.
It is an offence to:
- Intentionally kill, injure or take a bat
- Possess or control a live or dead bat or anything derived from it
- Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to a place bats use for shelter and protection
- Intentionally or recklessly disturb bats
- Sell, offer or expose for sale or possess or transport for the purpose of sale, any live or dead bat or part of a bat
- To knowingly get or use articles capable of catching, injuring or killing bats or knowingly allow such action
- Make a false statement to get licence for bat work
There are different associations trying to save bats in the UK and prevent them from further extinction. You are welcome to join and do your bit for bats in the UK, and acknowledge what they do to help our environment and our people.
The following links are to websites dedicated to saving bats that enable you to get involved: