Our Goal: Connect bat airspace and establish healthy bat populations across the Rockies.
Bats can live for more than 30 years, fly at speeds up to 60mph, and find their food in total darkness with echolocation
A single brown bat can catch 600 mosquitos in just one hour! Insect-eating bats help control insect populations including agricultural pests
Bats have long-standing cultural significance, for example, the word bat roughly translates to "moonlight flying skin" in Tiwa (one of the languages spoken by the Pueblo people of New Mexico)
Nectar feeding bats are key pollinators for many plants in the US-MX borderlands, such as saguaro, Oregon pipe cacti, and agave
The Samoan fruit bat is now featured on the U.S. Quarter
What WCS is doing:
The WCS Health Programs are working on bat health and conservation at many locations around the world. In North America, our team is studying the recent catastrophic die-off of insect-eating bats from White-Nose Syndrome and trying to prevent further devastation to bats.
Despite, their importance, bats are little-known and often misunderstood because of their association with scary movies, haunted houses, and rabies (although only 1-5% of the entire population are infected). At the same time, bats are threatened on a massive scale in North America by a deadly fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome (WNS). Millions of bats have died due to WNS and one species particularly impacted, the Little Brown, is predicted to go extinct regionally. Being the longest-lived and the slowest reproducing of all small mammals, one pup a year, mean bats are extremely vulnerable.
Be a Bat Ambassador:
Put up a bat house to create bat habitat and be part of a nature-based solution to agriculture pests, insects, and encourage bat pollination. Check out these guidelines- no need to use pesticides with bats around!
Learn more about White-Nose Syndrome and how it is affecting our vital bats
Do you live in the US-MX borderlands? Plant more agave to encourage bat populations
Support abandoned mine initiatives for bat habitat
Celebrate Bat Week
Educate others about the importance of bats so that we can all continue to collaborate, observe, and learn from these mythic beings
Support research for bat probiotics – think yogurt for bats – to combat WNS