Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Bats Save You Money

The next time you buy bread, fruits or vegetables at the grocery store, take a moment and thank a bat. While they may not be the cutest creatures in the world, without these flying mammals you would likely be spending a lot more money on food.
In an article published by the Science journal this past spring, biologists reported that bats may save us up to 53 billion dollars per year in agricultural pest control. 70% of all bat species are insectivores, and even small brown bats no larger than a human thumb can eat up to eight grams of insects per night, drastically reducing the amount of pesticides we need to use on crops. Our hungry bat friends help the forest too. By reducing insect populations, trees and plants are less prone to dying from disease.

Unfortunately, diseases like white nose syndrome and the popularity of wind turbine power stations in the Great Plains are having a negative effect on bat populations. Conservationists are now working on ways to help protect and preserve these beneficial animals, which have declined up to 70% in some states in recent years.

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