Mariton: Bats

August 30, 2011

The bats have been very active lately.  This bat was perched on the Nature Center, near the office, one day last week.  I am no bat expert, but I think it is a Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus.  I have also been seeing bats daily in the bat box on the Nature Center, in the Bird Blind, and under the shop where I park the truck.  The bats were even foraging just before and after Hurricane Irene blew through .

While many people are not comfortable around bats, those that I have talked to are very concerned about the population declines attributed to White Nose Syndrome.  Scientists are still baffled by the cause of winter mortality of millions of bats across the northeastern United States.  One thing they have discovered is that species, like the Big Brown Bat, that don’t hibernate in large tight groups of individuals have less mortality than other species. 

 While they may be creepy to some, bats are truly remarkable creatures.  Unfortunately, it may be awhile before we can learn enough to help their populations stabilize.  In the meantime, many insect species will go on a spree.