Ohio’s bats should all be sound asleep right now – inside tree cavities, under leaf litter, clinging to cave ceilings – hibernating until warm weather wakes up the insects and other invertebrates that are the only food for all 10 of Ohio’s bat species.
But instead, some bats are being cared for at our Wildlife Hospital or by specially trained volunteers where they will spend the winter months. Bats arriving at our hospital now have been rescued from inside buildings where they became trapped, or disturbed from hibernation and found exposed.
Five of our Ohio bat species are listed as endangered, and the other five are “species of concern.” Bats are declining because of ongoing destruction of natural habitats, persecution and the proliferation of harmful myths, and the growing use of wind turbine energy. But perhaps the worst blow to our bat populations has come in the form of a devastating disease – white-nose syndrome, WNS. This non-native, invasive fungus, is “one of the most devastating wildlife epidemics in recorded history.”
Please be kind to bats. They are critical to healthy ecosystems the world over. Ohio Wildlife Center educators offer a program entitled, The Truth about Bats. If you would like to learn more about one of our planet’s most fascinating group of mammals, sign up here: Need a Speaker? – https://www.ohiowildlifecenter.org/