Today is International Bat Appreciation Day.

In Australia, there are some 80+ species of bats. When we refer to bats, it’s either flying-foxes (or fruit bats) and microbats. Sadly, of our native bat species, 11 of them are currently classified as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable on the EPBC. 

Contrary to the myths, bats are NOT blind, NOR are they rodents. They do NOT suck blood and they are certainly do NOT all live in caves as urban legend would have us believe. 

Instead, let’s talk about some incredible facts about bats and their importance within an ecosystem.

-              Bats are the ONLY mammal that can fly; equipped with modified ‘hands’ and a thin, elastic membrane that joins their body and legs.

-              Microbats ‘see’ by using echoes of the ultrasonic pulses of sound they emit. For real.

-              Absolutely crucial within an ecosystem, bats control insect numbers – including a range of pest species such as mosquitoes – and are capable of eating up to 40% of their body weight in insects each night.

-              Bats can travel long distances, which is why they are such an integral part of pollination and seed dispersal to ensure genetic diversity in particular of native Australian forest trees.

Just as any species, bats have their part to play in this world and to not have them is would cause disruption and unbalance. They surely do help to make the ecosystem batter. Better.

Photo: Ghost Bat (EPBC - Vulnerable).



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