Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years of work within zoos.
Golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus)
We all need to appreciate and recognise the importance of the 1,400+ species of bat with whom we share this planet.
Bat Appreciation Day was started by Bat Conservation International and the designated day was chosen as April 17th.
Bats consume millions of tons of insects and so reduce disease such as Malaria, Dengue, Zika and many others. An insectivorous bat can eat as many as a thousand mosquitoes in an hour. Bat droppings are collected as a valuable natural fertilizer. The role of bats in the pollination of some frugivorous plants and flowers cannot be underestimated. They are an essential link in our food supply. The Tequila industry would collapse without them. Fruit eating bats spread seeds far and wide and so plant new forests.
Some Bat Facts
- Bats may live as long as 40 years.
- Bats are mammals and suckle their young.
- A group of bats living together is a colony.
- Some bats hibernate.
- Some bats migrate.
- Some bats can fly as fast as 60 miles per hour.
- Some bats catch and eat fish.
- Bats are the only flying mammal.
- Some bats will feed on scorpions.
- All bats can see.
- Bats are color blind.
- Not all bats hang upside down.
- Nathusius' pipistrelle bat sets a new bat migration record with a 2,400 km flight.
- Only around ten species of bat are diurnal.