Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Attempts to save Houston’s bats

bats

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Got bugs? Get a bat. As many species of bats are insectivores, they help keep insect populations in check. Hurricane Harvey has been devastating to people, animals and property. So it probably comes as no surprise that there are many volunteers dedicating their time to saving animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey as well. From squirrels, cats and dogs to…you guessed it…bats. It turns out that bats are not very good swimmers.  The Waugh Bridge is home to a population of roughly 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats that became stranded with the rising floodwaters. Witnessing dead and struggling bats in the waters, volunteers worked hard to try to rescue as many bats as possible using any means available including umbrellas, branches, tennis rackets, nets, etc.

Each night these bats consume about 2.5 tons of insects. In the aftermath of the flood, insects like mosquitoes are expected to proliferate along with the diseases they carry. With such large appetites, existence without bats would be pretty buggy.

Source:

CBS News

Categories: Comparative Physiology

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