Know More about Endangered Bats in Colorado and All Threats to Bats

  • Bats are among the most misunderstood, feared, and persecuted mammals on Earth. Fostered by myths and horror films, and exaggerated by erroneous news accounts, misinformed or malicious people have blown up, bulldozed shut or poisoned thousands of bat colonies worldwide. Millions of bats—along with entire cave ecosystems—have been lost.
  • Untold thousands of bats have been killed by cave explorers. Hibernating bats must ration their limited fat reserves through the winter to survive until spring and then arouse. Human disturbance of a hibernaculum during this critical period often awakens bats, causing them to waste 10 to 30 days’ supply of stored energy, reducing or eliminating their chance of arousal.
  • Deliberate vandalism also has taken a toll. In recent decades, tens of thousands of bats have been intentionally killed in the US alone.
  • Agricultural pesticides have had a serious impact on bat populations worldwide, especially on insectivorous species who consume an estimated 250,000 tons of insects which are now contaminated with pesticides, caused a drastic decline in populations, estimated by 99 percent in some places.
  • Five bats species are on the list of endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act: the gray bat, Indiana bat, Virginia big-eared bat, Ozark big-eared bat (all cave-roosting species), and the Hawaiian hoary bat, the only land mammal native to Hawaii. Nine species have been recommended as candidates for listing.
  • White-nose syndrome (WNS) is associated with the deaths of at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million North American bats. The condition is named for a distinctive fungal growth around the muzzles and on the wings of hibernating bats. It has rapidly spread, and as of 2013, the condition had been found in over 115 caves and mines ranging mostly throughout the northeastern US, as far south as Alabama and west to Missouri, and into four Canadian provinces. The mortality rate of some species has been observed at 95%. The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has called for a moratorium on caving activities in the affected areas and strongly recommends that any clothing or equipment used in such areas be decontaminated after each use.
Beneficial Bats 120 #C Park Street
Gypsum, CO 81637
Phone: (970) 524-5945
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