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DEEP celebrates international Bat Week

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is celebrating Bat Week.  It's an international conservation awareness effort focused on the week prior to Halloween.  The cave bat population across North America has declined since 2006 due to the disease known as white-nose syndrome.  DEEP says white-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats across 33 states and seven Canadian provinces.


“Halloween is a great time to dispel myths about bats,” said Jenny Dickson, Director of the DEEP Wildlife Division. “Rather than harbingers of doom, bats are crucial for healthy ecosystems and provide tremendous economic benefits to agriculture and forestry by controlling insects.” 

Some facts about bats:

Bats are the only mammal capable of true flight; they are not flying mice

Bats are adept fliers who do not try to get caught in people’s hair. Bats that fly near people are after insects like mosquitos or moths.

Bats  have good eyesight but rely on echolocation to navigate at night; they are not blind.

Bats’ healthy wings are essential for flight, so bats take care in grooming themselves; they are not filthy or covered in parasites.

There are more than 1,400 species of bats in the world and only three are known as vampire bats. These three species are only found in Latin America and act as parasites of birds and cattle.

“Learning more about bats and the important role they play in healthy ecosystems would be a great Halloween ‘treat’ for this troubled and misunderstood group of animals,” added Dickson. “Knowing why bats matter is an important part of efforts to halt the devastation caused by white-nose syndrome.”