Have you ever seen the bat? We bet you’ve just twisted your face in disgust if you have or crossed yourself if you haven’t. But that’s a totally wrong conception. The bats have nothing to do with bloodsucking or being another guise of Count Dracula. They are more like Batman – noble helpers and guardians of the ecosystem.
There’s even a special date meant for eradicating the prejudices regarding those nocturnal individuals. When is Bat Night in 2017 and what’s hiding under the cover of this time of day?
The bat is unique in terms of not only physiology and abilities but also the age as it has been proved that some of the species appeared around 52 million years ago! At those prehistoric times, they already took up the niche of the hunters of the night hovering above the earth. Today, the rodents with the wings are known to be one of the ancient inhabitants of this world.
The question that still baffles the scientists is how exactly the bats descended from their ground ancestors. Although many of them are badly adjusted to being on the solid surfaces, there are some fellows that move quite fast leaning on the flexions of the wings. On top of that, several species are able to swim or even flush in the water.
Not long ago, there were two remains found somewhere in the United States which appeared to be those of the most primitive specimen of the bats. It filled the gap between the air and ground rodents with the longer fingers and different shape of the chest – that unequivocally allow flying – and the long hind limbs together with the claws – that indicate the ground origination. Moreover, those two didn’t have any of the echolocation features which were developed much later.
Actually, not a pleasant reason underlies the holiday that was launched in certain countries in 1993 and was officially accepted at the end of the 20th century. The EUROBAT organization – an initiator of the event – was established with the purpose of integrating the parties all over the Europe that prevent the bats from being extinct, and coordinating their efforts to conserve the flying population. The main body proclaimed the universal date to draw as much attention to the issue as possible in 1997 and since then takes an active part in popularizing the holiday along with the real truth about the bats. The members of the EUROBAT strongly recommend us, no matter when is International Bat Night 2017, to think of the further fate of the endangered species more often.
What does National Bat Night mean? It is a special date to raise awareness of what an essential part it is to show support towards these little and obviously harmless friends of nature. In recent years, they are constantly under the threat of being wiped out at the hands of the man. There are several human activities that destroy the habitat and its residents as well.
First, the use of toxic agents intended for the pest control both deprives the bats of the food and poisons them. Then there is the treatment of the building materials with the pesticides that harm the rodents which prefer to settle primarily in the dark attics. Plus, the disafforestation, drying-out of the wetlands and the general human encroachment entail the reduction of the places fit for the bats’ roosting time. Finally, it’s the narrow-mindedness that hurts them a lot.
The misconception is really an issue. How many of you think of these creatures to be the accomplices of the vampires and the carriers of rabies? Slap yourself on the forehead if you do because that’s an outrageous myth! The bats are inoffensive at all and the most bloodthirsty of them suck the blood of the insects only. And it’s just 3 of the total 1500 species that have the inclination to this activity.
They play a crucial part in keeping the ecosystem healthy. Feeding on the mosquitoes, flies, midges and the like, they control the number of the latters and do not let them annoy us too much. Besides, the bats that eat the fruits help the trees to disseminate the seeds. They chew the fruits, digest them and then throw down the undigested products (including the seeds) throughout the flight over the country. The bats also serve as the pollinators to the plants that really depend on them as nothing else helps them to be fertilized.
You’re still wondering what day National Bat Night in 2017 falls on? It usually happens on the last weekend of August, so for that year it’s August 27 slowly turning into August 28. However, the stated are not prohibited from holding the event any time they prefer.
To make you more aware of those wonderful creatures called bats, here are some pieces of the quirky information on their lifestyle and physiological features.
They are the only mammals that are able to fly. Although a lot of people think that these rodents are blind, they actually have pretty good eyesight. Still, not the eyes but the special system of echolocation helps them navigate adroitly through the thickest and darkest forests. The winged mammals send out the sounds that go unheard for the human’s ear. They ricochet on the objects and signalize of their location. This phenomenon is so sophisticated that allows the bats to avoid obstacles and track down the food.
They are found in almost every area in the world except for the tundra and polar regions. Nevertheless, the bats migrate, just like the birds! They take the epic journeys to warmer climates in the middle of the fall: for example, from the cold north countries of Europe to the warm South. Those who stay at their homelands, go into hibernation during the winter. To live through this still period, the bats slow down their metabolism. The heartbeat lowers from around 400 to 10 beatings, the inner temperature decreases to 5 degrees while the breathing dies down to a single inhale in an hour.
The mammals can live up to forty years old but unfortunately, the human influence significantly reduces their days. That’s why it’s important to know what is the date of Bat Night 2017.
You celebrate the holiday by getting involved. Spread the word to all of your friends, colleagues, and relatives. Find out whether there’s a party responsible for the bats’ conservation in your neck of the woods. In case there is, you can make a donation or talk some of your fellows into helping the body with building the improvised homes for the individuals.
Look up the upcoming events and activities on the Interne. It might be the masterclasses showing how to make a proper bat dwelling, or the exhibitions and seminars educating in the flying rodents lifestyle or the so-called “bat walks” where the organizers gather a group of people willing to trace the mammals and listen to their sounding by means of the special gadget.
Or you can just get yourself comfortable at the porch somewhere in the countryside with a cup of the hot tea and revel in the sky full of stars and imagine listening to the conversations of the many bats that fly over there, in the forests and wetlands.
Bat Night Facts
- Poland and France were the first countries to host the holiday before the EUROBAT was established.
- Since the 50’s the bats’ population constantly declines mainly because of the man’s involvement.
Mark in the calendar, when is Bat Night in 2017, and do something nice for those unique mammals’ good.