Bye bye bats? Georgia’s bat population is declining
Georgia Department of Natural Resources is encouraging people to build bat houses
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Did you know that there are 16 different bat species here in Georgia? And here’s your spooky fact of the day folks; none of them are blood sucking bats, they’re insect eating bats here. But they are on the decline, and that’s why the Georgia Department of Resources is asking us to build “bat houses.”
Well maybe not as big, but you get the picture. A recent report from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources shows that out of the sixteen bat species in the state, ten of them are likely to be listed as a “high priority for conservation when the ongoing revision of the state’s Wildlife Action Plan is done.” Jackie Entz is the Education Director for the Artesian Alliance says there are several factors contributing to this decline.
“A large part of it is due to habitat loss,” says Entz. “And then a really nasty fungal infection called White Nose syndrome.”
Emily Ferrall is a Wildlife Biologist with Georgia DNR. She says bats are a great asset to Georgia’s ecosystem and losing them would be detrimental.
“In Georgia, our bats are really great at pest control,” says Ferrall. “The big benefit for them, for us, actually in Georgia is the pest control service that they provide. They are estimated to save the agricultural industry in the United States billions of dollars every year.”
She says one of the ways to help preserve the bat population is by building Bat Houses.
“We like to encourage Bat Houses as a safe designated place for our bats to be,” says Ferrall. “And also, to promote bats, around homes and in, you know, cities, parks and things like that, where they can help provide some of that pest control service that we love.”
If you are considering building a Bat House, you can find more information on DNR’s website.
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