Threats to Bats
Although their night-time activity, remote habitats, and ability to fly help
protect bats, they do have natural predators, including raccoons, snakes,
opossums, foxes, house cats, hawks, and owls.
However, humans are the most dangerous threat to bats. They may
eliminate habitat and food sources, as well as altering native ecosystems
and reducing the insect populations on which bats feed. Timber companies may harvest
trees before a forest can regenerate the mature trees suitable for bat
roosts. Even old, uninhabited buildings where some bats live are
disappearing. Bats are also being killed by the thousands because of
conflicting air space with large wind turbines.
Worst of all, sometimes bats are killed deliberately. Centuries of mythology and misunderstanding have led some
people to fear bats unnecessarily. In some areas, people have even set
fire to bat caves, killing thousands of these valuable animals.
Since 2007 0ver a million northeastern US
bats have died from white-nose syndrome. This non-native fungus
irritates bats into waking early from hibernation and they subsequently die
of starvation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is leading the
national effort to combat white-nose syndrome. For more information,
or Threatened Bats
While some bat populations number in the millions, others are dangerously
low or in decline. Without help,
bats may be heading for extinction. Almost half of the 46 bat species in the
United States are listed as Endangered or Threatened, or are being
considered for such status. Even relatively common species are vulnerable
because of their migration patterns, roost preferences, or colonial
How You Can Help
Promoting ways you can help bats is part of the Indianapolis Zoo's animal
conservation mission, and there are lots of things you can do at a
local level to assist our bat friends.
Twelve Things You
Can Do to Help Bats. One would be to build a bat box
to encourage bats to live near you. Bats living near your house won’t get caught in your hair, scare off
songbirds or chew through your attic. What they will do is eat pesky
Click here for instructions on how to build your own bat box!
To learn more about bats and how you help, check out these bat conservation
Organization for Bat Conservation
Lubee Bat Conservancy