Since reading about local bats dying off from white nose syndrome we’ve kept a close eye out for evening bat flights. Earlier this year, we saw none circling above and around our house, but recently we’ve seen quite a few, as have our neighbors. Can’t definitively say the local numbers are smaller than last year, but we definitely don’t have more bats flitting around. Considering the dire reports of white nose syndrome killing off the vast majority of CT bats, we’re happy to see any.
There are eight species of bats in CT. The most common, according to CT Department of Environmental Protection, are the little brown and the big brown bat. The little brown bat seems most affected by white nose syndrome, but another common species, the northern long-eared bat, has also been hit pretty hard. Research has yet to find the cause or treatment of white nose syndrome which has also been identified throughout New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.
DEP is asking the public to report incidents of such behavior to DEP by calling (860)675-8130. As the weeks go on, the agency would also like to hear from people about changes in the number of bats they are seeing this spring and summer compared to last year or bat colonies that once existed and do not return to their previous homes.
Bats are one of nature’s pest controls. A single bat can eat up to 1200 mosquitoes an hour, as well as plant pests such as cutworm, potato beetle, grasshoppers, and corn borer moths. For more bat facts visit the CT Audubon Society. CT DEP bat fact sheet has more, plus info on creating bat houses. And if you really want to go batty for bats, visit Bat Conservation International. You’ll find all kinds of interesting bat-facts (avoiding the plethora of Holy Cow, Batman! types of puns streaming from my old TV memory bank), bat-photos, bat plush toys, and of course a nice selection of bat desktop wallpaper such as this and other bat close-ups.