When is the last time that you supported a cause that supports species OTHER than humans?
There are hundreds, if not thousands of charities that support various issues that we face as humans in North America, however we are quick to forget about the organisations that support the livelihood of the plants and animals that we share this world with.
One particular animal group that is being driven to extinction in the US is the ‘Chiropter’, otherwise know as the bat!
Long associated with the lore of Dracula and often misconstrued as blood sucking beasts, bats have an eerie connotation for most humans. This reputation is unfounded and human’s fear of bats has done severe damage to conservation efforts. With many species of bats on the verge of extinction today, humans’ bat phobia needs to change.
The Importance of Bats
Bats are hugely beneficial to the maintenance of earth’s ecosystem. Capable of consuming a million of insects and crop pests annually, the lack of bats in present day is having serious repercussions on crops in the United States and around the world. Never mind the money these bats would save the same farmers in pest control costs! Humans’ fear of bats – for rabies paranoia or bats’ Gothic connotations – is having a very bad impact on our future planet.
Conservation charities and fundraisers geared towards the conservation of bats go a long way to help raise awareness about the benefits that bats provide to our environment. Predominantly non-profits and most advertised in farming communities, these organizations need help to survive. Bats need sufficient insect populations to continue to procreate and allow humans’ crops to flourish – in the same way conservation efforts require sufficient funds from donations and support.
North American Conservation Charities and Fundraisers
Bat Conservation Trusts exist in the United Kingdom as well as Ireland, and Bat Conservation International tends to the conservation of global populations of bats. Aside from using monetary donations to assist in the further research and conservation of bats, this fundraising also educates everyday folk on the importance of bat conservation. In communities like Ireland and England where bat flights for food are a common dusk occurrence, bats are understood to be beautiful and necessary.
Fundraising efforts in the United States work to propel this same understanding among humans.
Individuals Can Help Bats
Outside of just donating money however, individuals can help stem the destruction of bats cave homes and depletion of their food sources just by being respectful. The American homeowner can do their part too – if for some reason you find a bats in your home (e.g. bats in the attic, which is a very common hiding space for bats) DO NOT attempt to poison them; instead, call a certified bat removal expert. A bat is a living creature just like each of us – they are closer to humans and primates than they are to rodents.
Ongoing Conservation Efforts
Populations of bats will continue to be studied for as long as they are an endangered species. With luck and with input from humans, we can help stem the tide of bat extinction. “Bat Blitzes” are one effort towards conservation that scientists undertake in local bat populations. In these “Bat Blitzes” volunteers spend three nights collecting bats as they fly out to feed for the night. The data they are able to compile on these bats in three nights encompasses what could previously be accomplished in a whole season, and the more we know about bats’ needs, population sizes and changes therein, the more we can help.
It takes fundraising and human kindness to provide bat studies and assistance. The help bats provide to humans’ ability to harvest and consume healthy, plentiful crops must not be lost on us. We need bats – and now bats need us. Bat conservation charities and fundraisers are imperative to keep educating new generations of children on the importance of bats, so next time you are thinking of giving to a great cause, think of our little furry friends in the sky.
Here are 2 of the most trusted international bat conservation groups: