Did you know that October is Bat Appreciation Month? Bat week is celebrated each year on October 24th through the 31st. To honor these little creatures, we have put together 7 fun facts about bats!
1. Bats can eat more than 1,000 mosquitos per night.
Each adult bat can eat up to 1,000 insects per hour. That is over $53 million of free pest control they provide and with the agricultural benefit of being pesticide free.
2. The C&O Canal NHP is home to 10 species of bats.
There are 10 confirmed species of bats within the C&O Canal NHP. Eight of which are hibernating bats.
3. Bats are pollinators just like birds and bees.
Bats aid in pollination both by transferring pollen when drinking nectar from flowers but also through seed spreading.
4. Bats are the only mammal that can fly.
There are other mammals that have the ability to glide, or fall with style. Though bats are the only mammal that have the true ability to fly.
5. Not all bats use echolocation to find prey.
While many believe bats to have poor eyesight and rely on echolocation, bats’ vision is actually pretty comparable to human sight. As well not all bats can echolocate, only 70% have the capability.
6. The species of bats within the areas of the C&O Canal are all insectivores.
Insectivore as the name suggests eat insects. While other species of bat can be carnivores or frugivores. Carnivorous bats eat meat like frogs, fish and birds. Frugivores eat fruit and other vegetation like fig, mango and agave.
7. The C&O Canal NHP is a top favorite for hibernating bats in the state of Maryland.
Eight different species of bat now call the Indigo Tunnel “home,” including the Maryland state endangered small-footed myotis and the federally endangered Indiana bat. The Indigo Tunnel, located in Allegany County, has been identified by Maryland Department of Natural Resources as one of the largest bat hibernacula in the state. To protect the hibernating bats and their home, the National Park Service has placed metal gates at the portals of the tunnel. (pictured below)
Information for this post was sourced from the NPS and BatWeek.org