by Connie Oswald Stofko
Don’t believe what you see portrayed in Halloween decorations. Bats aren’t scary– They’re amazing!
To encourage people to welcome bats into their landscapes, “Habitats for Bats” will be the theme of the 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Education.
Posters must be submitted by Dec. 21 to your local DEC regional office to allow time for judging and printing of the artwork.
For more information, contact Mary Martin, DEC’s Arbor Day 5th Grade Poster Contest coordinator, at (518) 402-9428.
What you might not know about bats
- All of New York State’s bats eat insects. A single little brown myotis bat can consume 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in just one hour!
- The bat is the only mammal that can truly fly. (Flying squirrels glide, but don’t fly.)
- Bats are extremely long lived, compared to mammals of similar size. The oldest documented one was at least 34 years old.
- New York State has nine species of bats. Three of these species live in trees and fly south for the winter. The other six species spend the winter hibernating in caves, but can live in trees during the summer. (That’s another reason to include trees in your landscape.)
- More than half of American bat species are in decline or already listed as endangered. Losses are occurring at alarming rates worldwide.