Bats are not always a favorite mammal to humans. We often consider them an omen and relate them to disease outbreaks. One bat can host many different viruses without getting sick. They are the natural reservoir for the Marburg virus, Nipah virus and Hendra viruses, which have caused human disease and outbreaks in Africa, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Australia. They are thought to be the natural reservoir for the Ebola virus. They also carry the rabies virus, but in that case the bats are affected by the disease.
Each year on April 17th, National Bat Appreciation Day reminds us of the roles bats play in our daily lives. April is also the best time of the year to observe bats, as they are now beginning to emerge from hibernation. The observance is an excellent time to learn about the role bats play in nature. Since bats are considered to be an insectivorous creature, they rid our world of many annoying insects. In one hour, a bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes.
Fun Bat Facts:
- Some species of bats live up to 40 years.
- Bats can see in the dark and use their extreme sense of hearing.
- They also use echolocation to find food.
- A bat’s ability to fly makes them unique. In the mammal world, only bats are naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
- There are over 1,200 known species of bats.
- An estimated 48 species of bats make their home in the United States.
- Nearly 70% of bats are insectivores.
- As pollinators, bats along with bees and butterflies, provide a vital link to our food supply.
- Bats are also clean animals, grooming themselves almost constantly.
- Almost 40% of American bat species are in severe decline, with some already listed as endangered or threatened.
- Three U.S. states have an official state bat. Texas and Oklahoma named the Mexican Free-Tailed bat their state bat, and Virginia dubbed the Virginia Big-Eared bat their state bat.
Bats are an important part of our ecosystem. They are vulnerable and captivated for their meat which is the reason for Corona outbreak and many other endemic diseases.
Today, let’s realize their importance and spread awareness to save them and also the earth from such outbreaks.