Fondren Science Series

Article Title

Bat Conservation


Since we know that some bat populations attain astronomical size, bat conservation may seem inconsequential. However, during the past 10 to 20 years, some bat-banders and other mammalogists have reported a decrease of bats in hibernating cave colonies. In general, summer colonies of most species of bats are dispersed; from these sites migrating bats converge on relatively few caves in which they hibernate. Some species are probably most vulnerable in at least the following four situations. 1. Hibernating bats that roost in caves or mines may be destroyed by teenagers or adults who have no concern for the bats. 2. Reproducing females in summer colonies, especially in houses, are destroyed by home owners and exterminators who are perfecting more effective techniques for killing bats. 3. The effects of insecticides have not yet been evaluated; from what we know of birds we may suspect that bats are affected by some contaminated insects. 4. Selective collecting by mammalogists, physiologists and biochemists.

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