Bats, Spiders, and Salamanders…Oh My!

Bats

These creatures are often misunderstood, but are an important part of our ecosystem and economies.  Bats help control our insect populations (reducing the amount of agricultural pests), help pollinate certain crops and cacti, help in seed dispersal, and their high sensitivity to pollution and pesticides makes them valuable indicators of environmental problems.

But bats are also under threat.  Worldwide populations are declining due to habitat loss, toxins, and inadvertent (or intentional) killing.  Many species are under threatened or endangered status.  One of the keys to keeping bats around is knowledge.  If we dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that surround bats – like that a high percentage of them carry rabies, or that they will fly in your hair – we can increase people’s understanding of these unique flying mammals and, hopefully, their acceptance of them.

batsLive

BatsLIVE has a great resource to help make this plan a reality.  They have a series of Distance Learning webcasts that range in bat-related topics.  They include information on bat species, habitat, behavior, and the fungal white-nose syndrome that is decimating bat populations across the eastern U.S.  This information is free and is great for anyone who wants to learn more about bats, but especially if you have 4th-8th graders.

Check them out here.

batslive_caves_flyer

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