Are Bats Endangered? Which Species?

That scratching or squeaking your hearing in your walls, oh yes that, you could be looking at a bat colony inhabiting your home. Are these bats endangered? If so, which species? Depending on the area you live determines the species of bats that are in your region. Also, this determines how to handle those bats, too. Unfortunately, some bat species forego monitoring until they are on the endangered species list. By that time, it is a lot harder to stop them from extinction.

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Bat Species

The most common bat species we deal with are the little brown bat, big brown bat, and the Indiana bat. These species of bats are currently thriving and doing well compared to some of their cousin species. The critically endangered bat species known as the pipistrelle have unfortunately gone extinct. Even with a detailed repopulation plan. Now you are probably thinking “that is not a real species, I have never heard of that crazy name.” Well funny enough neither had I until I investigated species. There are endangered or extinct bats all over the world. This endangered now extinct species of bat is in the Greater Sunda Islands, more specifically Christmas Island.

While it seems like our bat population here in the United States is vast and ever growing. We still have dwindling numbers of bats in our area. It is one species that is harder to track the numbers on as well. Mainly because they have not been followed in the past until we noticed a growth in their prime prey. One of the biggest concerns people ask us is not to harm bats because they eat their mosquitos. Well not to worry, we do not harm or kill bats, we relocate them to a natural habitat.

Tracking Bats

I did some research for you guys (and I guess for my education as well). I looked into how we can track bats and even birds, to make it easier. What I found was astounding; you can hire different companies to implant tiny-microchips into the bats. It honestly sounds like a super simple process. Especially if you happen to catch a bat in a local colony and want to know more about that bats’ movements. You can track different information on the bats depending on which type of tracking devices you use. There is one that only follows GPS positions that can determine the specific area used for migration and hibernation. They are about as small as a tac and attach harmlessly to the bats or birds. You can also call them “tags,” and they use a MiniTrack Backpack and PinPoint Family tags for GPS tracking.

Another form of tracking is local movements. To do this tracking, the most common tag is a Very High Frequency or VHF beeper tag. This type of transmitter is more like a collar that they put on their feet. It’s ideal for constant tracking because it can transmit longer with its larger size for the battery life. They also use smaller connectivity tags. You can program them to only transmit on days that you choose to track the bats. This tag is a lot smaller than the beeper tag. If you are lucky enough to capture a bat without injuring or killing it, call your local wildlife control. Ask if they track bat migration and numbers. With limited knowledge of bats in the past, knowing the most about them now can help us to keep them from endangerment and extinction.

Bat Migration

The most common and effective tracking methods for migration routes are Geolocators; these are used best on smaller animals such as bats. When you are monitoring bats that are going through migration, they do recommend using something more like a Nanotag to track them. These are the best for more extended range and proven to be more energy efficient to follow for the longer migrations. These monitors are only one centimeter in size, giving you a lot of power and knowledge over your subject. I think being able to track endangered bats this way would be the best option as bats are more prone to being creatures of the night as the people following them are most likely not. You can set up burst rate transmissions so that you can have it send you info every two minutes or every twenty.

I think if I were to catch a bat, I would be most inclined to use a sensor information transmitter. These can help you monitor basic vitals of the bat you chose to study. Because we would want to know more about that for endangered bat species, it just makes the most sense. This sensor transmitter allows you to track their temperature, motion, and general activity. Additionally, this will help you to determine if they die, where they might have killed, and if they are going into hibernation or coming out of hibernation. With a transmitter, you get many benefits because then you can also turn it off during their hibernation season. These specific transmitters are known as beeper sensor transmitters and coded sensor transmitters. They are the most common types of Sensory Information Transmitters used at this time in the tracking of birds and bats game.

Endangered Bats

 

Endangered bats and bat species populations can be a very tricky thing to track. Therefore, there is not as much research or statistics on the subject. With bats being fragile and speedy creatures, they’re harder to pin down, unlike larger landlocked animals. Bats are much more challenging to track than other wildlife. Because of this, we have to rely on some guesstimates. While there is not a large amount of data on bat populations, there is more data on extinct bats. Bats that are currently just endangered or not in the harm of endangerment at all have much less information to utilize.

 

One of the endangered bats that we deal with here in our service area would be the Northern Long-Eared Bat and the Indiana Bat. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Northern Long-Eared Bat is in Final 4(d) Rule. What I found this to mean was that they advise and find it necessary and useful for the species to designate and have conservation areas for them to live. They are more towards the threatened end of the spectrum them endangered. However, this lets the wildlife service help make it known that they are unique, need to be protected, and help get regulations issued without having the endangered numbers. We mostly see this when you are trying to get conservation area for these species so they can try to escape endangerment.

Conclusion

There are many different bat species throughout the world, becoming endangered and extinct. The mains ones here at home we still need to worry about and keep from endangerment are the little brown and the Indiana bat. These are the bat species in our back yards we can be working to protect to keep them away from that endangered species list. For any information on keeping them safe you can check out the government’s wildlife website, and even most bat removal websites of proper companies are going to have lots of useful information to keep these bats safe from harm.

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