CHIRICAHUA BAT SITE
DO YOU REALLY KNOW
DID YOU KNOW
-BATS ARE NOT BLIND
- Most bats have good eyesight and can even "see " very well,
at night with their very sophisticated echolocation (a kind of
-BATS DON'T GET
TANGLED IN PEOPLE'S HAIR- Because they can "see" with remarkable
accuracy with the use of their echolocation system, bats can detect
things as fine as a human hair and even a small single mosquito and
can easily avoid blundering into people's hair.
-BATS ARE NOT
RODENTS- Bats belong to a mammalian order all their own, the
Chiroptera, which means "hand-wing" and are the only group of mammals
which have the ability of true, sustained flight.
-BATS ARE NOT DIRTY
AND ALL DO NOT CARRY RABIES- Bats are actually very clean animals,
they keep themselves meticulously clean by grooming themselves and
each other. A person is much more likely to contract the rabies virus
from an infected stray dog or cat. Public Health records have shown
that only a very small percentage of all bats may be rabid (less than
1/2 of 1%) There is a higher incidence of rabies in other kinds of
wild mammals like skunks, foxes and raccoons.
-NOT ALL BATS ARE
VAMPIRES- In actuality there are only three species of vampire bats
that live primarily in Mexico, Central and South America. The vast
majority of bats are insectivorous and nectar/pollen or fruit eaters
and they are very beneficial to the habitats where they live
as well as to people.
-THE SMALLEST MAMMAL
IN THE WORLD -is the bumblebee bat from Thailand. It weighs less than
-Some bats are known
to have lived for at least 32 years!
-There are even
Fishing Bats. These bats live primarily in Central and South America
and "fish" by dragging their elongated claws through the water to
snag small fish while on the wing. Their echolocation is so acute
that they can detect an object as fine as a human hair a couple of
millimeters above the water's surface.
-Almost 25% of all
mammal species are bats.
-Wild stocks of a
number of agricultural plants like dates, bananas, mangoes, figs and
cashews depend upon bats for either pollination or seed
-Most bats are
insect feeders and consume vast numbers of insects nightly. A single
little brown bat can eat at least 600 mosquitoes in an hour and a
colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in central Texas can consume
250 tons of insects in one night. Many bats feed almost
exclusively on night flying moths, many of which are major
agricultural pests. The Lesser long-nosed and the Mexican
long-tongued bats, which are nectar feeders, are the principle
pollinators of Agaves and Saguaro and Organ-pipe cactus.
Bats are among
the most beneficial, gentle and fascinating groups of animals on
earth, once you get to know them!
THE BATS OF
The Chiricahua mountains in
southeast Arizona probably has the largest diversity of bat species
in the United States. There have been 24 species of bats found in the
Chiricahuas from 3 families. Almost all the bats that are found in
the Chiricahuas are insect feeders, two species are nectar and pollen
feeders and have even learned to take advantage of hummingbird
feeders in peoples yards. Most of the bats found in the Chiricahuas
mate in the fall and the females give birth, usually to one pup per
year, starting in early summer. The Desert Red Bat can give birth to
twins or sometimes even four pups. In many species the females form
maternity colonies of several individuals to numbers in the millions
to give birth and nurture their young. Bats use a variety of places
to roost during the day. These can be rock crevices, caves, old
mines, old buildings, attics, even using old woodpecker holes and
cavities in trees which was recently discovered as roost sites for
our Southwestern Myotis female bats and their young. Many species
will take up residence in artificial roosts, most commonly in
that people have put up to
attract bats to their yards. Our bats are found in a wide diversity
of habitats including desert grassland and foothills, riparian areas
of canyon bottoms, to conifer forests at the higher elevations.
Several species of our bats are migratory and head south for the
winter where they remain active all winter, some migrate relatively
short distances to overwintering sites usually in caves or old mines
that provide the optimum conditions for hibernation. One of our bats,
the Hoary bat, was discovered a few years ago to hibernate on the
side of a tree out in the open where it was very well camouflaged
with the bark of the tree.
Below are links to
information on the Chiricahua Bats:
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on these pages are under the copyright of Charles S. Rau and CSR
Nature Photography, none of the images or text may be copied, reproduced,
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