I'm Batman - Amy Wray
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Does the thought of a vampire bat make you squeamish and scared? Don’t worry too much! Out of over 1,200 species of bats, only 3 species feed on blood. Watch a video about vampire bats, or take a quiz to test your knowledge about them.
Bats are wild animals and should only be handled with great care by people who are professionally trained. Although it is uncommon, bats are capable of carrying rabies (as are all mammals). Visit the CDC site and educate yourself about bats and rabies. Also, listen to this On Point podcast from NPR about other ways bats can help and hurt us as members of our environment. Bats are an important part of the ecosystem, and having a bat house is a great way to help them. However, bats can become a nuisance if they take up residence in your home. Visit this link to learn more about how to “bat-proof” a house and how safely handle a bat if you do find one. Is your home “bat-proof?”
What are some threats to bats? White nose syndrome is a huge threat to bats that roost in caves in North America. For more information read this article from Smithsonian Magazine. What can happen to an ecosystem if the bats are removed? Bats that roost in trees are also threatened by another problem – wind turbines. Project Edubat is an organization seeking to increase citizen awareness about how fascinating and valuable bats are. Their "Heroes of the Night Sky" activity includes a comprehensive exploration material on all things related to bat conservation! Read more about these issues, and why it’s important to protect bats from them.
Interested in bat diversity? There are lots of types of awesome bats. Tiny bats, huge bats, white bats that build “tents” out of leaves, and even bats that catch fish. Check out some more cool bats here. Really want to get involved? Visit the Bat Detective Zooniverse Project and help classify bat calls. Become a citizen scientist!
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