Without predators, insects would soon overwhelm the earth. Like birds, bats consumer enormous quantities. One little brown bat can cats up to 1,200 bugs in an hour, often two in a single second. A nursing mother eats more than her own body weight nightly – up to 4,500 insects, including mosquitoes!
Just 150 big brown bats can eat enough cucumber beetles each summer to protect farmers from 33 million of these beetles’ rootworm larvae – pests that cost close to a billion dollars annually.
In the wild, important agricultural crops such as bananas, mangoes, cashews, dates and frigs rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal
Tropical bats are key elements in rain forest ecosystems, which rely on them to pollinate flowers and disperse seeds for countless shrubs and trees.
More than 1,100 species of bats account for almost a quarter of all mammal species, and most are highly beneficial.
Worldwide, bats are an important natural enemies of night-flying insects.
A single little brown bat can catch 1,200 mosquitoes-sized insects in just one hour. A nursing mother eats more than her own body weight nightly – up to 4,500 insects, including mosquitoes!
A colony of 150 big brown bats can protect local farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
The 20 million Mexican free-tails from Bracken Cave, Texas eat approximately 200 tons of insects nightly.
Tropical bats are key elements in rain forest ecosystems which rely on them to pollinate flowers and disperse seeds for countless trees and shrubs.
In the wild, important agricultural plants, from bananas, breadfruit and mangoes to cashews, dates, and figs rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal.
Tequila is produced from agave plants whose seed production drops to 1/3,000th of normal without bat pollinators.
Desert ecosystems rely on nectar-feeding bats as primary pollinators of giant cacti, including the famous organ pipe and saguaro of Arizona.
Bat droppings in caves support whole ecosystems of unique organisms, including bacteria useful in detoxifying wastes, improving detergents, and producing gasohol and antibiotics.
An anticoagulant from vampire bat saliva may soon be used to treat human heart patients.
Bats are exceptionally vulnerable to extinction, in part because they are the slowest reproducing mammals on earth for their size, most producing only one young annually.
More than 50% of American bat species are in severe decline or already listed as endangered. Losses are occurring at alarming rates worldwide.
Loss of bats increases demand for chemical pesticides, can jeopardize whole ecosystems of other animal and plant species, and can harm human economies.