Archive for September 9th, 2013

Wildlife: Beneficial Bats

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Bats emerging for nightly insect feast.

Bats emerging for nightly insect feast.

This is Passport to Texas

Bats have earned a bad reputation, which is unfair to the flying mammals, says bat biologist Tara Poloskey.

07— Bats are sort of like the underdog. A lot of people don’t appreciate them, because they’re night flying creatures and typically nightly flying creatures are scary.

Then there are myths about bats: they fly into your hair, they’re aggressive, and they spread disease.

13— I have found them to be so important agriculturally, economically – around the world. There are 12-hundred species, and they live in just about every niche you can imagine; They’re just such amazing creatures.

Poloskey says bats eat their weight in agricultural pests every night, reducing the need for chemical intervention by farmers; and they pollinate a variety of ornamental and edible plants worldwide. Without bats, earth would be a very different place.

19— We wouldn’t have all of the beautiful trees that bats disperse seeds for. We wouldn’t have our lovely tequila that we love so much. So, we would have a lot of insets. We would have less diversity. We would have flowers that don’t bloom anymore. It would be a sad place.

Tomorrow: a fungus is spreading across the US, threatening these beneficial animals.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program program supports our series, and funds diverse conservation projects in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.