Battle for the Bats!

Bats of Pennsylvania

Brown Bat - largeThere are 9 species of bats in Pennsylvania. Two of the nine bats in Pennsylvania are on the Federal Endangered Species List. The Northern Long-eared and the Indiana bats are listed. Contrary to some myths, there are no vampire bats here.

Bats like the Little brown bat and Northern long-eared bat were very prevalent across Pennsylvania at one time. Over 90% of the Little brown bats and Northern long eared bats have succumbed to white-nose syndrome across Pennsylvania.

There are some resident bats that live year around in the woods of Pennsylvania. The Eastern red bat is one of these. It buries itself in the leave litter to hibernate for the winter. On warm winter days, you may see one of these bats flying around because the snow melt has forced it from its hibernation.

vine ripened tomatoesThe Need For Bats

You’ve heard about all the negative things about bats; for example, they get caught in hair, have rabies, and are dirty, but did you know that bats have a positive side to them?

They benefit the local economy because they’re natures best bug killers. Some individual bats can consume up to 1,000 insects in an hour and over 4,500 in a single night.

They also play a key role in our scientific and medical communities.

Why the Interest in Bats?

Indiana BatCauses of bat population declines:

There are many reasons why Bat species may be in decline and include: loss of habitat, disease, targeted removal, predation and others.

One of the most recent events that has had a huge negative impact on some bat species is the white-nose syndrome (WNS). WNS is fungal growth that affects hibernating bats with no known cure.

On the Allegheny National Forest, the Northern Long-eared bat was considered one of the most common bats on the Forest prior to the arrival of white-nose syndrome.

On the Allegheny National Forest Surveys and Monitoring of Bats have been accomplished through:

Electronic Echolocation -Surveys of Bats on both predetermined driving routes and stationary points.

Emergence Counts – Visual Counts of Bats emerging from buildings, caves, and bat structures.

Mist Net Surveys and Telemetry – Live trapping and telemetry tracking using transmitters on Bats

Can I Do Anything?

Hall Bat Barn located on Route 62 near West HickoryYES! To help our flying superhero friends, we invite you to learn about bats, share your knowledge with others, and protecting habitat for bats. Following are just a few ways you can be a friend to the bats:

You can help bats by constructing bat boxes.  They come in many different shapes and sizes. 

Plant native vegetation

Construct small wetlands or ponds.

Learn about what fascinating creatures bats are, how they benefit the ecosystem, and the threats they currently face, then share this cool information with your friends and family.

Knowledge is key to bat conservation so please share this newly acquired knowledge with your friends and family!