Happy Bat Week

Happy Bat Week everyone! During an eight-day stretch from October 24-31, people worldwide are celebrating an appreciation for bats.

Bats are important to both Ohio’s economy and ecosystems, which is why Gov. Mike DeWine has proclaimed Oct. 24-31 as Bat Week to highlight the need for bat conservation.

Bats contribute substantially to our economy by protecting our forests and agriculture from crop-damaging insects and pests. It is critical that we continue efforts to promote the health of bat populations here in Ohio and across the nation.

Unfortunately, bat populations in Ohio are declining because of a combination of threats from disease, land development, and contamination from pesticides. Studies have shown that the loss of bats could cost the nation’s agricultural industry more than $3.7 billion per year because of the pest-control benefits they provide. With almost 14 million acres of agricultural land in Ohio, bats have an important role in our state.

We are encouraging Ohioans to help celebrate Bat Week by doing something positive for these important winged mammals. People can help by building artificial bat roosts, planting native vegetation to attract insect prey for bats, or educating people on how important bats are.

At least 10 species of bats are commonly found in Ohio. Two species — Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats — are federally listed. The remaining species are all protected under state law.

Bat Week is an international, annual celebration designed to raise awareness about the need for bat conservation. The Bat Week proclamation was backed by the Ohio Bat Working group and the Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

Check out http://batweek.org/ for great ideas to help raise bat awareness in your neighborhood and beyond.

For more, please visit: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/…/gov-dewine-proclaims-oct-24-3…