Every April 17th is Bat Appreciation Day! There are so many reasons why bats deserve our appreciation. Here's a quick glance at just a few:
1. Bats are amazing mosquito munchers
2. Bats have wonder poo
3. Pollination isn't just the birds and the bees
4. Bat watching benefits communities
Do we have your attention? Read on for more...
1. BATS ARE AMAZING MOSQUITO-MUNCHERS
Did you know that a common bat can eat up to 1000 insects in a single hour! And it’s not only mosquitoes that bats eat. Bats eat many garden pests like cucumber beetles, leafhoppers, armyworm moths and more. (Even better, bats don’t typically eat bees or butterflies due to a scheduling difference).
All of this pest-insect eating adds up!
The bat colony at Bracken Cave near San Antonio, Texas consumes a whopping 400,000 insects every night! That’s the equivalent weight of 11 school buses!
By consuming bugs, bats reduce transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, and save US farmers $23billion/year in damaged crops, all while decreasing the need for toxic pesticide use.
But that’s not all we have to thank bats for.
2. BATS HAVE WONDER POO
Did you know that bat poo is so special it even has its own name? It’s called Guano!
Guano is packed with high concentrations of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium: all key nutrients for plant growth.
Not only is bat poo collected and sold as fertilizer all over the world, but in some areas bat poo disperses up to 95% of the seeds needed for rewilding deforested areas! This means bats save rainforests just by pooping.
3. POLLINATION: IT’S NOT JUST THE BIRDS AND THE BEES!
When it comes to pollination, you may think of the birds and the bees, but bats are actually the world’s most effective long-distance pollinators.
Ever enjoy a mango, peach, cashew, date, durian, guava, or tequila? You can thank bats for their role in producing those! In fact, of all tropical fruits eaten by humans, nearly 70% rely on bats as pollinators or seed dispersers in the wild.
4. BAT-WATCHING BENEFITS COMMUNITIES!
Did you know that bat-watching is a common activity? We’re serious! People flock from around the globe to watch these stunning wildlife spectacles. These bat-attractions bring in millions of dollars to communities around the globe every year around. The tourist revenue from the bat Colony at Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas pumps in an estimated $10 million to the community every year… All thanks to our flying friends.
Did you learn something new about bats?
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Want to help bats even more? Put up a bat house at your property to offer them a safe and cozy home.
Or you can donate to a bat conservatio organization like Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation, to help bats in their struggle to survive.