September 1, 2010

Bats in the bat house

I really hate mosquitos, and news that bats are in severe decline because of white-nose fungus worries me:

populations of little brown myotis in the 115 hibernation locations the study covered were falling at rates ranging from 33 percent to 99 percent per year, with an average decline for the Northeast of 73 percent each year.

Slightly more than 1 million bats have vanished in the past two years, the team estimates. The team calculates that out of an initial population of some 6.5 million bats, the little-brown-myotis population could fall as low as 65,000 by 2026.

... given the bats' rate of bug consumption, the casualties so far would have consumed about 694 tons of insects in one warm season.

For now, though, I have bats, as this mess indicates:

Bats living above.
Bats living above.

The bathouse faces south, tucked under the roof of the house in a spot where there isn't a nearby window.

A house for bats.
A house for bats.

The fungus disease seems to afflict bats when they hibernate in large groups in caves, so I doubt my bat house will make a big difference that way. For now, though, I'm just happy someone's there.

Posted by simon at September 1, 2010 8:12 AM in
Note on photos


Jason said:

Bats are fun, I've had a few houses, and love watching them eat bugs over my pond. However it is a common misconception that they control mosquitoes. Less then 1% of their diet are mosquitoes. In fact they eat more of other mosquito predators (if they are avaiaible) that they actually slightly increase the mosquito population in most cases. Sorry, if you don't want mosquitos getting rid of standing water is the best way.

Darn. Oh well - I still like them!