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amy Geisberger

on 28 July 2015

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Transcript of Bats

the only mammals that can truly fly
there are more than 1,300 species of bats with 19 found in Canada
Myotis lucifugus (little brown bat) is the predominant species in Canada and Ontario

Bats as Pollinators and Seed Dispersers

many species of bats, particularly in rainforests and deserts, feed on flower nectar making them essential pollinators
plants that depend on bats as pollinators include peaches, bananas, mangoes, figs and agave
fruit eating bats are often considered a keystone species in restoring forests by dispersing seeds
bat droppings, called Guano, also have many uses including soil fertilization by enriching soil to improve drainage and texture
Insect Control
winter roosts -- hibernacula like caves or abandoned mines having high humidity and stable above -freezing temperatures
summer roosts may be in the ceilings of high structures, tree cavities, leaves or other places that can stay dark and warm during the day
White Nose Syndrome
Bat Facts
- disease caused by a fungus
Geomyces destructans
, which first appeared in a cave in Albany NY in Feb, 2006
- disrupts the hybernation cycle
- which results in a faster consumption of bodily fats
- presumably it also affects the water balance during hybernation
- this leads to the death due to starvation, thirst and extremely cold weather conditions
- this fact coupled with the usually slow reproducing ability ( one pup at a time) puts them on the list of endangered species along with Myotis septentrionalis (northern myotis) and Perimyotis subflavus (Tri-coloured bat) the other two endangered species in Canada
- the fungus grows in cold humid environments
- accidentally brought to North America from Europe
- Ontario
- over 5.7 million of bats have been killed by White-nose Syndrome in North America
- The world’s smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat found in Thailand, weighing less than a penny. And the giant flying foxes that live in Indonesia have wingspans of up to six feet.
- Canada's Little Brown myotis
(Myotis lucifigus)
is 4- 5 cm long with
a wing span of 22- 27 cm and weighs about 4- 11 gm. It has a life span of 6- 7 years
-nocturnal meaning during the day they roost and during the nights they hunt and feed
- under threat of extinction due to the WNS caused by fungus,
Geomyces destructans
, which first appeared in a cave in Albany NY in Feb, 2006
- under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) they are on the list of 'Endangered' species which means that they face imminent extinction or exterpation
- they are ferocious eaters and can eat over 50% of their body weight everyday -- lactating bats may eat 100% of their body weights
- only three species of blood feeding (Vampire) bats and occur in South and Central America
- use echolocation (emission and then listening of sounds) for navigation and catching prey
- ultrasonic frequency of 5-0- 500 decibels
feed on a variety of small flying insects usually moths, beetles and flies
like to eat aquatic larval stages of mosquitoes, midgets and mayflies hence they forage over water bodies
efficient hunters capable of catching more than 1000 insects per hour
act as natural scavengers of harmful insect infestations
use echolocation to catch the prey
with bats around farmers can use fewer pesticides which saves the agriculture industries billions of dollars a year
some farmers even set up artificial roosting sites 'Bat Boxes' on their farms and estates
the biggest threat to bats is humans
humans threaten bats through habitat destruction, vandalism, direct killing, disturbances of hibernation and maternity colonies, hunting bats for meat and our use of pesticides and wind turbines
White Nose Syndrome
slow reproduction, with most females giving birth to only one pup per year
Full transcript