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About Bats

Photo courtesy Ann Petersen

  All Washington State bats are insect eaters. One bat can catch and eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in just one hour.

  Bats use a type of sonar system called echolocation to navigate in the dark and forage for food. The bat's ability to echolocation is so acute that they can distinguish the size, shape and even texture of a tiny insect, and it enables them to avoid obstacles no wider than a piece of thread.

  Bats roost in places such as caves, abandoned mines, cliffs, rocks crevices, wood piles, under loose tree bark, in dead tree hollows, under bridges, and in barns.

  Females generally give birth to a single pup sometime between mid-May to mid-July. Babies are born hairless and helpless, but mature quickly. Their ears and eyes open within hours, and they can learn to fly within three to six weeks.

  Drastic reductions in bat populations have occurred during recent years, and it seems the most significant threats to their survival are caused by human disturbance. The most common human impacts include habitat destruction, direct killing, vandalism, sticky pest strips, chemical toxicants, and disturbance of hibernating and maternity colonies.



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