Why You Should Protect Little Brown Bats

These fuzzy flying mammals might get a bad rap as a source of spookiness at Halloween, but they’re in trouble and they need our help. Here’s why you should help protect the Little Brown Bat!

They’re nature’s version of pest control

We love bugs, but mosquitoes and wasps can be real pests. That’s where Little Brown Bats come in – they are insectivores, which means they eat bugs. These bats feed on flying insects that they capture midair with their sharp teeth while trying to satisfy their HUGE appetites! They can eat up to half their body weight in bugs in one night, and pregnant female bats have been known to eat more than their entire body weight in just one feeding!
Bat sits on the stones

They see with their…ears?

Catching all those bugs is tough work, especially in the dark of night. So how do they do it? A little something called echolocation! Little Brown Bats call out as they circle the skies, and the time it takes for their calls to return (or echo back), tells the bat how far away the bug is. These bats can also figure out the size and speed of their prey based on the echoes it creates.

These calls are so high pitched that humans can’t even hear them!

A healthy Little Brown Bat. Photo Credit: Ann Froschauer/USFWS

A healthy Little Brown Bat. Photo Credit: Ann Froschauer/USFWS

They need their beauty sleep

Little Brown Bats are active for about two hours after sunset and then an hour or two before dawn, catching all their prey within this 3-4 hour window. This leaves about 20 hours a day for sleeping – talk about beauty rest! When temperatures drop in late fall, bats will move to dark, damp sheltered places to hibernate for 4-6 months until spring comes.

They put the “little” in Little Brown Bat

You’d think eating up to 600 mosquitoes per feeding and sleeping 19 hours a day would make for some fat bats, but these creatures are tiny. The average Little Brown Bat is about 9 cm long and weighs 8 grams – that’s not even as heavy as a toonie! Because of their small size they can squeeze into openings (like cracks in roofs and walls) as small as 1 cm wide, and will sometimes sneak into old attics and cellars for hibernation.

A Little Brown Bat with White-nose Syndrome. Photo Credit: Marvin Moriarty/USFWS

A Little Brown Bat with White-nose Syndrome. Photo Credit: Marvin Moriarty/USFWS

 

They need your help!

Once the most common bat species in Ontario, the Little Brown Bat is now in serious trouble as it battles White-nose Syndrome, a deadly disease that’s wiping out colonies all over eastern North America. When infected, bats will grow a white fungus on their noses, ears and wings that irritates their skin. This causes them to wake from their hibernation, and they can get dehydrated and starve when they can’t find enough food in the dead of winter to keep them alive. This fungus spreads quickly throughout the damp caves and other hibernation locations that bats use, killing almost every bat it infects.

 
 
 

What you can do

Earth Rangers has partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to help save the Little Brown Bat, and we need your help! Donations collected for this Bring Back the Wild project will be used to:
– Identify critical habitats bats use for mating, raising their young and hibernation and to track the spread of White-nose Syndrome throughout these locations.
– Help design and identify the best places to install new bat boxes, which can be used for roosting and raising young and can be cleaned to stop the spread of White-nose Syndrome.
– Figure out the best ways to survey bat populations so we can share this knowledge to help prevent the spread of White-nose Syndrome across western Canada
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Sign up for a Bring Back the Wild Campaign and help protect Little Brown Bats

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References:
https://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Library/Mammals/Bats/Little-Brown-Bat.aspx
http://www.env.gov.nl.ca/env/snp/programs/education/animal_facts/mammals/brown_bat.html
http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/bat2.htm

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82 Comments

  1. LeniRanger says:

    Wow- they sleep for 2o hours a day. That’s crazy!

    [Reply]

  2. olympia says:

    there so little

    [Reply]

  3. olympia says:

    that is so sad

    [Reply]

  4. 89901pac says:

    That’ terrible. We need to do something. Have they found a cure?

    [Reply]

    bjm27 Reply:

    I don’t think so.

    [Reply]

  5. jedi907 says:

    hi

    [Reply]

  6. Senetza1027 says:

    There cute I dont care

    [Reply]


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