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Batty for bats? Give them a helping hand

 
October 27, 2010

 

Townsend's big-eared bat

The charismatic Townsend’s big-eared bat is classified as a State Sensitive Species. In spring, females look for warm, dark places to have their pups. Put a bat house on your property and you may attract bats. They are great for mosquito control.
- Photo by Don Albright-
Click to download a high-res version of this image.

SALEM, Ore—Bats are everywhere this month—on Halloween decorations, pumpkins, costumes and cards. And while the flying mammal’s scary image is as healthy as ever, real bats aren’t doing so well: disease, habitat loss and human development are all threatening their survival.

In an effort to debunk myths about bats and teach Oregonians about the state’s bat species, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have produced a new fact sheet. Designed for kids, it provides a description and photograph of each of Oregon’s 15 bat species and some ideas of how kids can help. The flyer, Batty for Bats, is available on ODFW’s website.

“There are a number of things that people can do to help bats—from building bat houses to leaving snags or dead trees on their property to serve as roosts,” said Andrea Hanson, ODFW Strategy Species Coordinator. “One of the most important things that kids can do is to learn about bats so they understand their importance.”

Fun Facts about Oregon’s Bats

  • Oregon’s bats eat only insects. An adult bat eats about 1,000 insects every hour!
  • Bats hang upside down because it gives them an ideal position for take-off.
  • Bats can fly 20 to 30 miles an hour and travel more than 100 miles a night.
  • A baby bat is called a pup. Young bats can fly between two and five weeks of age.
  • Bats are the only flying mammal.

Eight of Oregon’s 15 bats are identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy as species in need of help. To find more information about distribution, habitat and conservation actions that will help bats, see the Summaries of Strategy Species section of the Oregon Conservation Strategy on ODFW’s website, http://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/read_the_strategy.asp

Townsend's big-eared bat
In spring or early summer, a female Townsend’s big-eared bat joins a maternity or nursery colony where she gives birth to one pup. Colonies stay together through the summer until pups are weaned and old enough to hunt for food on their own.
- Photo by Don Albright-
Click to download a high-res version of this image.

Additional information about “Living with Bats” is also available on the ODFW website, http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/bats.asp

   

Contact:

Andrea Hanson, ODFW Strategy Species Coordinator, (503) 947-6320
Meg Kenagy, ODFW Conservation Strategy Communications Coordinator, (503) 947-6021

 
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