Minnesota RVers: What Would You Do If You Saw A Bat?

Halloween is coming. And even though we have a blast camping out in the our new Minnesota motorhomes, carving pumpkins and dressing up as ghosts and goblins, it’s also a tough time of year for batty public relations. We thought this would be a great time to set the record straight with a few fun facts about bats from Bat Conservation International:

  • Centuries of myths and misinformation still generate needless fears and threaten bats and their habitats around the world.
  • The more than 1,200 species of bats. They range from the world’s smallest mammal, the tiny bumblebee bat that weighs less than a penny to giant flyig foxes with six-foot wingspans.
  • A single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour, while a pregnant or lactating female bat typically eats the equivalent of her entire body weight in insects each night.
  • Almost a third of the world’s bats feed on the fruit or nectar of plants. In return for their meals, these bats are vital pollinators of countless plants (many of great economic value) and essential seed dispersers with a major role in regenerating rainforests.
  • About 1 percent of bats eat fish, mice, frogs or other small vertebrates.
  • Only three species, all in Latin America, are vampires. They really do feed on blood, although they lap it like kittens rather than sucking it up as horror movies suggest. Even the vampires are useful: an enzyme in their saliva is among the most potent blood-clot dissolvers known and is used to treat human stroke victims.

Minnesota has seven species of bats, and Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release, Inc. says that while some of our bats migrate south for the winter, others hibernate in caves, abandoned mines and buildings.  Two species include the gorgeous silver-haired bat, which lives in forests and has dark fur with silver streaks, and the red bat, which often hangs from its tree roosts by one foot, mimicking an autumn leaf.

This Halloween, help spread the word! Bats are not what you’ve seen in horror movies. Bats are the good guys!

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