ODFW Has Gone Batty!

Don't be scared! All of Oregon's 15 native bat species are harmless.

Don’t be scared! All of Oregon’s 15 native bat species are harmless.

In a very Halloween-appropriate campaign, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently released a new fact sheet designed to raise awareness about a little-known threatened species in Oregon: bats.

Oregon is home to 15 native bat species, eight of which are recognized as struggling species in need of help. Native bats face a number of different obstacles, including habitat loss, disease, and human development. According to a recent ODFW press release, one of the biggest reasons bats struggle for survival is because most people have a misconception about bats, including a lot of hunting, fishingand outdoor enthusiasts. The ODFW hopes to change that with their new informational flyer, Batty for Bats. Aimed at kids, the flyer includes interesting facts about the common Oregon bat as well as things you can do to help their population.

“There are a number of things that people can do to help bats—from building bat houses to leaving snags or dead trees on their property to serve as roosts,” said ODFW Strategy Species Coordinator Andrea Hanson in the press release. “One of the most important things that kids can do is to learn about bats so they understand their importance.”

Here are a few interesting pieces of information from the new bat flyer:

  • Oregon’s bats eat only insects. An adult bat eats about 1,000 insects every hour!
  • Bats hang upside down because it gives them an ideal position for take-off.
  • Bats can fly 20 to 30 miles an hour and travel more than 100 miles a night.
  • A baby bat is called a pup. Young bats can fly between two and five weeks of age.
  • Bats are the only flying mammal.

Check out the Batty for Bats flyer as well as Living With Bats for more information.

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