|Fun Animal Fact of the Month|
Bats are the only mammal that can fly.
Inspirational Quote Of the Month
“Success is not a destination, it’s a journey.”
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Whenever I think of Bats one of my favorite childhood books comes to mind, Stellaluna by Janell Cannan. Stellaluna is a Fruit Bat, we do not have those in our service areas. If you have a child and you haven’t read it yet, it’s an incredible story of acceptance and well worth the read.
Bats are amazing mammals. There are over 1100 species of bats found worldwide, just about 25% of all mammal species and yes some of them do suck blood(Vampire Bat). Most of these bats are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The world’s smallest mammal is the Bumblebee Bat of Thialand which weighs about as much as a dime. And on the other extreme, the Giant Flying Fox Bat (they are fruit bats found in Indonesia) have wingspans of nearly six feet. The two bats found in our service areas, are the Little Brown Bat and the Big Brown Bat and they eat insects. In fact, a Little Brown Bat can consume up to 1,000 mosquitos per hour. While they absolutely provide significant benefits to our immediate environment, if residing in the wrong places, they can become a hazard or nuisance to your family or customers. You may find females roosting in colonies of buildings (residential or commercial) to raise their young. Their guano and urine can damage insulation and other household and commercial goods and attract other pests. During an extreme heat wave, several bats may enter your living quarters or business, seeking a cooler roost. This is when they’ll show up in places they normally don’t use. Big Brown Bats will hibernate in buildings (little browns don’t seem to.) In the winter, a Big Brown Bat may leave its roost in your attic and fly around in the living and working spaces. This usually happens when the temperature of the attic roost changes dramatically, disturbing their hibernation—during a thaw, or during the very coldest part of the winter, if the attic is much colder than the rest of the house.
The Little Brown Bats are approximately 3 to 4 inches long and have a 9 inch wing span. These are the most abundant species of bat found in New York and New Jersey. The Big Brown Bats are 4 to 5 inches long and have a 12 inch wing span. They both have a brownish nose, long hairs on their toes—hair sticks out beyond the end of their toes, and the Calcor (the bone that juts back from the ankle bone) has no or a weak keel. The bat skeleton is designed to facilitate flying. They are thin hollow bones. The delicate arm and finger bones form a framework. The skin stretches over the framework to form the wings. Bats have an amazing sonar system that allows them to see extremely well in the dark. Bats send out bursts of very high pitched clicks through their mouths or noses. When these sounds bounce off the bat’s surroundings, it picks up the echoes using it’s ears. This process is called echolation. Echolation also assist in find food. Bats are nocturnal, with peek feeding times at dusk and dawn. During the winter they hibernate. The Little Brown Bat can reduce their heart rate to 20 beats per minute and can stop breathing altogether for 48 minutes at a time while hibernating. They may hibernate for more than seven months if left undisturbed, but can starve if they are awakened too many times during the winter, which causes them to run out of energy reserves before spring.
The bat’s natural habitat consists of forests and forest edges, areas with lakes and ponds, parks, orchards, fields, suburbs and cities. Bats mate during the fall, but the females store the sperm in their bodies for months, fertilization does not take place until late winter or early spring. The gestation period is 50 to 60 days. Little Brown Bats have 1 pup; Big Brown Bats have 2 pups. A nursing Little Brown Bat mother can eat more than her body weight nightly (up to 4,500 insects).
Bats are an essential part of our ecosystems. As mentioned earlier, a Little Brown Bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitos in an hour. A single colony of 150 Big Brown Bats can protect local farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer. Many important agricultural plants like mangoes, cashews, dates, figs, bananas rely on bats for pollination and seed disposal. Bat droppings in caves support whole ecosystems of unique organisms, including bacteria useful in detoxifying wasts, improving detergents, and producing gasohol and antibiotics. Unfortunately, nearly 40% of American bat species are in severe decline or already listed as endangered or threatened.
Around here, our bats are being devastated by a disease called the White Nose Syndrome. Named for a cold-loving white fungus typically found on the faces and wings of infected bats, White-nose Syndrome causes bats to awaken more often during hibernation and use up the stored fat reserves that are needed to get them through the winter. Infected bats often emerge too soon from hibernation and are often seen flying around in midwinter. These bats usually freeze or starve to death.
The best form of prevention is to seal potential points of entry into the living or business quarters and any cracks and holes on the outside of the building. Bats can enter a building through a crack that’s only 1/4″ wide by 1 1/2″ long, about the size of a stick of gum or a stubby pencil.
Upon bat proofing your home, provide and alternative for the bats. Bat houses can help build the populations of many valuable bat species that eat many crop-damaging insects, such as cucumber and June beetles, stink bugs, leafhoppers and corn worm moths. Bat houses furnish places for bats to roost, hibernate and raise young.
Here at Got Wildlife? LLC, we understand the importance of bats and the role they play in our ecosystems. We can take care of your bat circumstance in a professional, humane manner. Please call us at 1-877-Fur-Find if you are having an issue. We will conduct a full inspection and determine the best solution for your problem.
Please visit us at www.GotWildlifePro.com
Happy Memorial Day Weekend
Got Wildlife? would like to say
THANK YOU Veterans, Thank you for taking a stand for our feedoms…without your sacrifices our lives would be very different.
5% discount to all war veterans and military personal
Mohonk Preserve. Saturday June 5st. Celebration of Children in Nature 1 pm to 5 pm. Friday June 18th. Toddlers on the Trail – What’s Blooming from 10 am to 12 pm. Saturday June 19th. Oak Forest Exploration from 9 am to 12 pm.For more information please visit www.mohonkpreserve.org
Museum of Hudson Highlands. Every Sat. & Sun. at the Wildlife Nature Center, “Meet the Animal of the Week” 1:00 pm & 2:30 pm. For more information please visit; www.museumhudsonhighlands.org
Weinberg Nature Center. Sunday June 6th & 13th Come Meet the Animals. Morning and afternoon sessions. For more information please visit; www.weinbergnaturecenter.org
Beczak Environmental Education Center. Saturday June 19th Amphibians vs. Reptiles, 2 sessions, 11 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 2 pm. For more information please visit; www.beczak.org.
Green Chimneys. Sunday June 6th With Wings and a Prayer: Birds of Prey Day 11 am to 4 pm. For more information please visit; www.GreenChimneys.org
And for some Wildlife fun all year round visit: