Bats are fascinating creatures and they play many important roles in our world. Many bats are insectivores and they eat all kinds of insects. In fact, because of the high energetic demands of flight, bats eat A LOT, which means they play a role in regulating insect populations, including crop pests! Some bats are frugivores; they often carry fruit away to a tree to eat it, and the seeds get left behind. So, they play an important role as seed dispersers, moving seeds away from the parent plant which gives the seeds a better chance of growing. Other bats are nectarivores; when they try to reach the nectar at the base of a flower, their heads get covered in pollen and they deposit that pollen on the next flower they visit.  These bats are therefore important pollinators of many plants.

Artibeus lituratus, great fruit-eating bat. Panama. photo: KPatriquin

Artibeus lituratus, great fruit-eating bat. Panama. photo: KPatriquin

Unfortunately we’re at risk of losing populations all over the world because of habitat destruction to meet our needs, like making room and materials to build new homes, making more oil, and making room for more agriculture. On top of that, here in North America, we are losing bats by the millions thanks to a disease commonly known as White-Nose Syndrome. So, we need to find ways to meet our own needs without losing these incredible animals.

I could go on and on about how amazing bats are and what we should be doing to help them, but everything you need to know about bats can be found at Bat Conservation International. While you’re there, please consider making a donation to help protect important bat habitat and to help the fight against White-Nose Syndrome.

GOT BATS? Do you live near High Park in Toronto? Do you have bats in your attic? If you answered yes, please contact me if you’d be interested in helping me with my research: call or text my work cell: 647-636-7447