Bats Are Irreplaceable Across Ecosystems

Pest Control

Bats eat TONS (literally) of night flying insects every night. Many of the insects bats target are crop destroyers and by reducing their populations, bats effectively reduce the need for pesticides. Bats also crunch on mosquitoes and other flying insects that are usually carriers of diseases such as malaria and leishmania. They also eat a lot of other more benign, annoying types of insects that you don't want more of hanging around at night.

Pollinators

From deserts to rainforests, nectar-feeding bats are critical pollinators for a wide variety of plants of great economic and ecological value. In North American deserts, giant cacti and agave depend on bats for pollination, while tropical bats pollinate incredible numbers of plants.

Seed Dispersers

Vast expanses of the world’s rainforest are cleared every year for logging, agriculture, ranching and other uses. Fruit-eating bats are key players in restoring those vital forests. Bats are so effective at dispersing seeds into ravaged forestlands that they’ve been called the “farmers of the tropics.”

Multi-Billion-Dollar Money Saver

Bats are farmers’ best insect-munching friends. A research conducted by University of Tennessee at Knoxville have shown that the loss of bats in North America led to a drastic economic cost ranging from $3.7 and 53 billion a year in agriculture economy. Bats’ diet of pests evidently brings monetary value by reducing the application of pesticide. Nevertheless, bats’ contribution goes beyond measurable since the downstream impacts of pesticides on human body and other ecosystem can hardly be quantified.

Tequila Bats Deserve a Toast

Due to bats’ nocturnal nature, nectar feeding bats get their meals on flowers that open at night. Agave, the plant necessary for tequila production, open their flowers at night and some species rely exclusively on bats for pollination (i.e. no bats, no agave). So next time you have tequila, be thankful for the bats that make it possible!

Bat Poop is Valuable Fertilizer

Bats play an important role in reforestation. Some seeds only sprout after they pass through bats’ digestive system. Bat poop, also known as guano, acts as a rich fertilizer enhancing the process of seed dispersal. Rich in potassium nitrate, guano was once used as a replacement for gun powder during Civil War for the Confederacy. In fact, bat guano mines used to provide the largest mineral export for Texas before oil.

Bats Need Your Help

These beautiful creatures are dying because of our ignorance, fear, and lack of awareness. Like all animals in the universe, you must understand, love, and cherish them. They play a part in the evolution of the universe and it is part of your purpose to support them.
What bats need from you is to spread the word that they are suffering and not to be scorned or hated (this is true for all animals, but bat's have been particularly demonized across the world). Part of Cavi’s mission is to correct common misconceptions about bats and emphasize their irreplaceable role in our ecosystem. Beyond propagating awareness, we urge you to donate to Bat Conservation International and lend your resources to this wonderful cause. All photos found here are credited to Merlin D. Tuttle.
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