Bat Week is an internationally recognized celebration of the important role bats play in our environment. It is a great time to appreciate New York’s nine bat species. Bat Week is observed October 24 through 31.
Recently, scientists have found some evidence of recovery of the once-common little brown bat throughout New York State. While this seeming stabilization provides a hopeful outlook after more than a decade of devastating population declines, similar evidence of stabilization has not been seen for other severely affected bat species. Northern long-eared bats have faced severe population declines due to White-nose Syndrome and are now listed as endangered.
How you can help:
Protect New York’s bat populations by avoiding caves and mines, which may be home to hibernating bats, from October through April. Human disturbances are very harmful to bats. White-nose syndrome makes bats very sensitive to disturbances. Even a single, seemingly quiet visit can kill bats that would otherwise survive the winter. If you see hibernating bats, assume you are doing harm and leave immediately.
Anyone entering a Northern long-eared bat hibernation site from October 1 through April 30, the typical period of hibernation for bats, may be subject to prosecution.
Learn more about bats in Bats of New York State (PDF).
Photo at top by Al Hicks.