Each year, National Bat Week is celebrated in the last week of October. Here are some ideas on how you can participate:
Go to Bat for Bats! – Bat Week encourages actions big and small that can help improve the environment for bats. Take action and participate in activities that assist in bat conservation.
Cooking for Bats - Cook up some tasty treats using the Bat Week Cookbook, featuring ingredients that rely on bats.
Follow the Save the Bats Campaign, go to the Save the Bats Facebook page and become part of the movement!
Learn by Participating in a Distance Learning Adventure: BatsLIVE – An online, one-stop resource for learning about bats and gaining skills to help others become bat champions. You will find lesson plans, exciting recorded webcasts and webinars, links to great bat partners, and multimedia tools that are all focused on bats!
Watch the “Battle for Bats” Film. This cornerstone of the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) communication effort focuses on bats as important and fascinating animals, the reality that we are rapidly losing millions of our bats to WNS, information on how state and federal agencies and non-profits are working together to fight this devastating disease, and the important role that the public can play in bat conservation.
For more information on planning your own event or learning other ways you can make a difference, visit our friends at www.batweek.org.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking the public to report the sighting of any active or dead bats. A special phone line 303-291-7771 and an email address are available to report these sightings. CPW would also like to know of any sites, especially in eastern Colorado, that have hibernating bats so biologists can include them in the monitoring effort.
The public is asked to not disturb hibernating bats and to respect cave closures.
All the bat species found in Colorado are insect eaters, in some cases eating thousands of insects a night. This diet of night flying insects makes bats important for the control of agricultural and human pests. Bats are also important to the cave environments they roost in, bringing energy into these mostly closed systems in the form of their guano.
“Bats are an important yet under-appreciated part of our world,” said CPW Species Conservation Coordinator, Tina Jackson. “This threat is something we all should be worried about.”
WNS, which is caused by a fungus known as Pseudogymnoascus destructans, is responsible for large scale bat die-offs in the Eastern United States, in some cases killing 100% of the bats in a site. WNS is named for the white powder seen on the nose, ears, and wings of infected bats.
WNS has not been found in Colorado, however since first documented in a New York cave in 2007, WNS has spread to 26 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Some signs of WNS in bat populations are:
Bats moving to the openings of the hibernation site during the winter
Bats leaving hibernation sites in the winter, especially on cold days
Bats with a white powder on their nose, ears or wings
More Bat Resources
White-Nose Syndrome in Bats
CPW White-Nose Syndrome in Bats Response Plan
Bat “White-nose Syndrome” Surveillance Plan & Protocols