Why not be a bat this Halloween?

Posted Oct. 18, 2011, at 3:11 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 18, 2011, at 8:12 p.m.

With Halloween fast approaching, youngsters and fun-loving parents are looking for ideas on how to dress for this Halloween.

The Nature Conservancy has a suggestion: Why not a bat?

To help you out in making this year’s decision, the Conservancy has these interesting bat facts:

· The world is a much scarier place without bats — common species can eat more than 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour.

· More than half of all bat species In the U.S. are in severe decline or endangered, as a result of habitat loss and white nose syndrome.

· The United Nations has named 2011-2012 the Year of the Bat to draw attention to this problem.

· A million bats have already died because of WNS and Maine is one of the most recent states where the disease has been found (5/2011).

· Many bat caves infected with WNS show mortality rates in excess of 90 percent.

· The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee is building an artificial bat cave where scientists can study the disease.

· Bats are critical pollinators in many ecosystems — the agave plant (yes, the same one that tequila comes from) is among the plants that need bats to survive.

More info is available at www.nature.org/bats