Why Bats Are Important For Our Environment
March 23, 2020
Bats evolved around 52 million years ago and have since then diversified into 1232 species. They are considered the most diverse mammals, which display vast ecological and physiological diversity. Their diets and roosting habits have evolved and diversified. Bats are mostly found roosting in daylight within caves, crevices, tree hollows, and within man-made structures. They are most active at night that’s when they feed on items like nectar, fruits, seeds, smaller mammals, fish, insects, and even blood. Bats provide us and the environment we live in with a wide variety of ecological and economical services, which are briefly explained below.
Pollination & Seed Dispersion
The reproductive success of a variety of plants is dependent on fruit-eating bats that provide an effective service of seed dispersal. Columnar cacti and agaves in arid regions are bat pollinated. Phyllostomid bats pollinate 360 different species of plants.
Two-thirds of bat species are insectivorous mammals. They consume insects from forests, agricultural farmlands, wetlands, and aquatic bodies such as lakes and streams. Bats consume a vast number of insects that would otherwise cause damage to farm crops. They consume insects like beetles, grasshoppers, etc. It has been said that a single nighttime feed of millions of bats can reduce around 14000kgs of agricultural pests and insects. Bats are also known to consume around 50 tons of mosquitoes and other insects annually. This helps reduce the mosquito population drastically.
Indicators Of Biodiversity
The studies of bats tell us a lot about the state of the environment because they are the top predators of nocturnal insects. These creatures are susceptible to changes in the surrounding environments where they frequent.
We all know that bats rely on thousands of other nocturnal insects to survive, but there are other animals whose survival within the ecosystem depends on bats and the caloric value they provide. Mammals like weasels, ringtail cats, raccoons, falcons, and owls eat bats and attack them while they roost. These birds and animals are dependent on bats as their food source.
Engineering & Aviation Inspirations
Echolocation and membrane-like wings, which are unique features of bats, have given inspiration to several innovators to form the basis of Technology in aviation and the fields of engineering. Base jumping wingsuits have taken a few cues from the aerodynamics of bats. According to wildlife animal control in San Antonio, bats are protected by federal and state regulations. The use of chemicals such as insecticides, rodenticides, disinfectants, and mothballs to kill or rid bats is a federal violation. According to wildlife conservationists, no one can hunt, offer sale, buy, or possess a bat, either alive or dead.
The above laws are non-applicable to forest officers, peacekeeper officers, health officials, and licensed pest control companies like Accurate Pest Control in San Antonio. We request you not to take the matter of ridding the bats into your own hands and urge you to contact and employ our services immediately when you are dealing with bat infestation or pests. Our home pest control and commercial pest control team can offer you with all possible pest-related solutions while taking care of the pests according to the law of the land.