Why Bats are Important
Bats provide us with many benefits. Bats are a "keystone species" which means their presence contributes to the diversity of life found within an ecosystem. Their extinction would cause huge changes in the life forms of all ecosystems around the world. In North America most bats are insectivores consuming vast quantities of insects nightly. Farmers recognize the benefits of having bats in the area of their crops. Having large bat populations decrease the need for farmers to use expensive pesticides.
The decline and possible extinction of bats would cost millions of dollars each year in insect control and have vast detrimental effects on our ecosystem.
Pollination is also carried out by many bats. Some fruits and plants depend exclusively on bats for their pollination and survival.
Pacific Northwest Bats
Washington is home to 16 species of bats. All bats in our state are classified as protected wildlife and cannot be hunted, trapped or killed.
Out of the 16 species, bats you are most likely to see include:
* Big Brown Bat
* Little Brown Bat
* Townsend Big-eared Bat
* Western Pipistreelle
* Yuma Bat
* Keen's Bat
* Long-legged Bat
* Long-eared Bat
* Silver-haired Bat
* Spotted Bat
Fun Bat Facts
- bats are the only mammal capable of flight
- there are over 1000 kinds of bats in the world
- bats are not blind, they actually have very good eyesight
- bats do not make nests in your hair - bats roost
- bats do not attack people - they are very small and gentle
- bats play a very important role in our ecosystem
- insectivorous bats eat millions of insects in a night
- only one type of bat consumes blood - the Vampire Bat which is found only in South America, Central America and Mexico. Vampire Bats consume small amounts of animal blood, not human.
Be a Bat Conservationist!
* educate yourself about bats and try to change any negative attitudes you many have about them
* teach others about the benefits of bats
* provide natural habitat to help support the existence of bats
* eliminate the use of pesticides in your garden, farm or yard
* join a conservation organization that works to protect bats
* put up bat houses in your yard or on the side of your house
* install a light that attracts insects
* support legislation that protects natural habitat and wildlife
* plant more trees and bat-friendly plants. Old snags and trees will provide homes. Plants that attract night-flying insects such as lilac, fox glove, sweet rocket, evening primrose, nicotina, soapwort and herbs are great additions to your garden
* visit and support zoo programs that educate the public about bats