Bats Help Battle Crop Pests

Bats get a bad rap. These crop and farm-friendly creatures consume enormous amounts of insects daily. They eat the beetles, moths and leafhoppers that cost landowners billions of dollars in damages each year. Some bats can maneuver like helicopters to pluck insects from foliage, while others fly 10,000 feet high and dive like jets.

There are many misconceptions about bats. For instance, they are not blind, they do not become entangled in human hair and the seldom transmit disease to other animals or humans. Bats are the second largest group of mammals in the world. The largest group is rodents, which bats are not closely related to.

Like other animals, bats suffer from habitat loss. Their primary cause of decline is destruction of natural roosts by humans. One way landowners can help is by leaving dead trees standing. Many species of bats roost in the space between the bark and wood. If dead trees are not an option, landowners can give the bats the next best thing – a bat house to mimic the space and habitat a dead tree would normally provide. Visit the Bat Conservation International website to learn everything you need to know about building and installing your own bat house.

Want to do more on your property to help bats? The Shiawassee Conservation District can work with you to develop a conservation plan!

 

Pictured: Hibernating northern long-eared bat. https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nleb/ Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo by Ann Froschauer/USFWS

The northern long eared bat is federally listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Their range includes much of the eastern and north central U.S., including the State of Michigan. The Shiawassee Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service consider their habitat when developing conservation plans. For more information on the Northern Long-Eared Bat, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nleb/nlebFactSheet.html