Let's Get Bat-ty!

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Let's Get Bat-ty!
Bats are amazing creatures that are vital to the health of our natural world and economy. It's important for everyone, especially kids, to learn about bats and the important role they hold in our world. 

Myths & Truths About Bats

MYTH: Bats are blind.
TRUTH: All bats can see. In fact, some bats have eyesight that is three times better vision than humans!

MYTH: All bats have rabies.
TRUTH: Less than 1% of bats have rabies. However it is always best to avoid handling any wild animal, including bats.

MYTH: Bats are dirty.
TRUTH: Bats are extremely clean and groom themselves like cats.

MYTH: Bats are rodents or flying mice.
TRUTH: Bats are not rodents. Unlike mice, most bats have only one baby at a time and live long lives.

MYTH: Bats attack people.
TRUTH: Bats do not attack. They are afraid of humans and avoid people when they can.

MYTH: Bats suck blood.
TRUTH: Bats do not suck blood. However, Vampire bats do exist and they do drink blood from non-human animals.

How Kids Can Help Bats

  • Start a bat or nature club.
  • Contribute your art, poetry, and essays to conservation organizations.
  • Make a video about how wonderful bats are.
  • Ask your teacher to teach about bats.
  • Plant a garden for bats (that attracts yummy insects).
  • Ask for a bat-themed birthday party.
  • Study your personal habitat and help keep it clean and green.
  • Go outside.  Look for bats flying in the sky at sunset.  See them at work, catching insects.
  • Share that you care. Just telling people that you think bats are cool is a huge help!

Support People & Organizations the Support Bats

NorCalBats is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of bats throughout Northern California. In addition, they are committed to public education regarding the environmental benefits of bats, and dispelling fears and myths that lead to the death of roosts and colonies. Located in the Sacramento Valley, trained volunteers care for injured and orphaned bats throughout the valley and surrounding foothills.

Corky, founder of NorCalBats recently posted on Facebook: “It’s time to say good-bye to the Bat Van.

The Bat Van worked hard for many years, going over 250,000 miles. Many of those miles were driven picking up bats in need of rescue, taking bats to vets, and going all around California teaching children and adults about bats.

Corky is an inspiration to so many of us as well as to thousands of children whom she has taught about nature and the environment.

You can help Corky help bats by making a donation here: New Bat Van for Corky Quirk Any amount helps!

More Fun Ways to Get Kids Excited About Bats!

Watch this Video of Forest Service Bat Biologist Talking to Kids about Bats!

 

Do a Bat Craft

Supplies Needed:

  • Glue
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Googly Eyes

Steps:

  • Trace both hands on the black construction paper
  • Cut out hands
  • Glue the palm sections of the hands together, overlapping, with the thumbs up. (See picture 5)
  • Glue on googly eyes
  • Let Dry!
  • Read these 10 Fun Facts About Bats!

10 Fun Facts About Bats

1) Bats are the only mammals that fly. Scientists classify them into an order called “Chiroptera” which means “hand-wing.”

2) There are more than 1,400 species of bats in the world.

3) One insect-eating bat can consume 2,000-6,000 insects in a single night!

4) Bats are important in controlling many disease- carrying and crop-harming insects. They save US farmers over $1 billion annually!

5) Fruit-eating bats spread seeds as they fly and digest food, which reseeds deforested land.

6) The smallest bat in the world is the Kitties hog-nosed bat, also known as the Bumblebee Bat. It weighs as much as a dime and has a six-inch wingspan. Small bats are called microbats and are found all over the world. They are the only bats found in North and South America. They have large ears, small eyes, small bodies, and use echolocation to find food. They eat a wide range of food, including: insects, nectar, fish, fruit, frogs, and blood.

7) Nectar-feeding bats pollinate many valuable plants including bananas, balsa wood, agave, mangoes, and cashews.

8) In addition to sight, many species of bats have ultrasonic sonar capabilities (echolocation), which they use to navigate and catch insects in total darkness.

9) There are three species of vampire bats that drink blood from non-human animals such as cows, pigs, goats, and chickens. These small bats live in southern Mexico, Central America, and South America.

10) The largest bat in the world is the Malayan flying fox. It weighs two pounds and has a six-foot wingspan! Large bats are called megabats, or flying foxes, because their faces look like the face of the dog. All megabats live in Africa, Asia, or Australia and consume only fruit nectar.

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  • Racquel Nevers
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