Bat Week 2017 recap
Bat Week 2017 has come to an end. We had daily social media posts to put bats in the figurative spotlight. Below are all these posts bundled together for ease of access.
Welcome to Bat Week
Check out www.batweek.org to learn about the importance of bats. Keep your eye on the CWHC facebook page, the Bat Week facebook page, and our Canadian partners – Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s facebook pages this week to get your daily dose of bat facts.
Bats are providing invaluable services to our ecosystem and our economy. What are you doing to help bats in return?
Photo: Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) by Jordi Segers
All bats in Canada are insectivores. Every night in spring, summer, and fall they eat large amounts of insects that are agricultural pests, thus acting as a natural pest control. This saves Canada a lot of money and gives us apples, grapes, and other fruits, vegetables and nuts at an affordable price. More bats means fewer insects and fewer pesticides on our crops.
Unfortunately, the fungal disease white-nose syndrome has been responsible for the death of millions of North American bats. We are leading a coordinated response to fight this disease and help bats survive. For more information on what we are doing, see http://www.cwhc-rcsf.ca/wns.php
Photo: Little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) by Jordi Segers
What are you doing to help bats? Show others what you intend to do (or are already doing) by signing the pledge. This is a great way to motive people around you to take action to help bats.
Mexican free-tailed bats roost in colonies of millions. Depending on the time of year, their diet consists of 30 to 90% moths, including moth species that consume corn. The estimated value of bats to the corn industry is $1 billion annually worldwide!
Bat Conservation International, one of the Bat Week partners, protects the largest bat maternity colony in the world in Texas, USA, where 15-20 million bats roost every summer. You can become a member of their organization, sponsor bats, and visit this amazing site. Visit http://www.batcon.org/
Photo: Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) by Jordi Segers
Tessa McBurney (Atlantic Bat Conservation Project Technician) and Jordi Segers (National Bat White-nose Syndrome Scientific Program Coordinator) are at the CWHC Atlantic Office to deliver BatWeek at the Atlantic Veterinary College. Those bat ears sure draw a lot of attention and have people asking questions about bats. Sign the pledge yourself to help bats and print out a set of bat ears from www.batweek.org
Fruit bats all around the world are important seed dispersers of avocados, mangoes, papaya, bananas, and more. Some tropical forests would not exist if It wasn’t for bats.
Check out the Bat Week cookbook for recipes made with bat-dependent ingredients. You’ll be amazed by all the food that we have bats to thank for.
Photo: Lesser short-nosed bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) by Ch’ien Lee
Bats are among the most diverse group of mammals and represent about 20% of all mammalian species. Worldwide more than 1300 different bat species have been described, from the smallest (the bumblebee bat: 2 grams) to the largest (the golden-crowned flying fox: 1.2 kg with a wingspan of 1.7 meters).
Bats live on all continents, except Antarctica, and fill many niches in the ecosystems they live in. There are bats that feed on insects, fruit, nectar, blood, frogs, fish, other bats, and more. Many bats can use echolocation to navigate in the dark and have faces that are adapted to accommodate this. Others have faces that help guide fruit juice to their mouth.
Today we honour the beauty of diversity with this tribute to the many faces of bats!
Photos by Jordi Segers
First row, left to right:
Silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) – Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, and the United States
Northern yellow bat (Lasiurus intermedius) – Southeastern United States and eastern Texas, Cuba, coastal Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras
Northern long-eared myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) – Eastern North America
Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) – North America (including Hawaii) and South America
Second row, left to right
Hairy big-eared bat (Micronycteris hirsute) – South and Central America
Seminole bat (Lasiurus seminolus) – Southern United States
Toltec fruit-eating bat (Artibeus toltecus) – Central America
Geoffroy’s tailless bat (Anoura geoffroyi) – Mexico, Central America, and northern South America
Third row, left to right
Buffy flower bat (Erophylla sezekorni) – Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Bahamas, and Cayman Islands
Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) – North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America
Ghost-faced bat (Mormoops megalophylla) – Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, and Texas
Small-footed myotis (Myotis leibii) – Ontario, Quebec and the eastern United States
Fourth row, left to right
Sooty mustached bat (Pteronotus quadridens) – Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico
Straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum) – West, South, and Central Africa
Leach’s single leaf bat (Monophyllus redmani) – Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico
Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) – Southern United States, Mexico, Central America, some parts of South America
Bats are still highly misunderstood animals. Especially on a day like today people think about bats as scary vampires. While vampire bats do exist, they do not live in Canada and generally only take a little bit of blood from live-stock and wild animals (they don’t kill these animals). Did you know that vampire bats feed each other to make sure the whole colony remains healthy? There is much to be learned from their kindness. Here are some more myths on bats that we want to see busted.
Happy Halloween and happy last day of Bat Week. Cheers to the bats.
Click here for a bigger version of this graphic: http://blog.healthywildlife.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/batblitz2015-web.pdf