Just In Time For Spooky Season, It’s Bat Week in Michigan
When you think of bats in the month of October, you probably think about Halloween. But, that's not the only reason that Michigan's Department of Natural Resources wants you to think of the "spooky" mammals this week.
They've named October 24th through October 31st 'Bat Week', and they're hoping to raise awareness to how important they are to our ecosystem, year round.
If bats creep you out, that you have nothing to worry about. In fact, Michigan is home to nine species of bats, all of which are insectivores. So they aren't looking to turn you into a vampire like all the movies may make you think.
According to Michigan's DNR here are some ways you can help these tiny, and not so scary winged mammals this week, and all year long:
- Leave your leaves to help local insects over winter – curious why? Read this Showcasing the DNR story!
- Plant a bat-friendly garden with native Michigan species to reduce use of insecticides.
Remove invasive species that threaten native plant populations.
- Install a bat house in a location not frequented by people.
- Help reduce the spread of white-nose syndrome by not entering closed mines and following decontamination guidelines for shoes, clothes and gear.
Bats are important members of Michigan's ecosystems, but some species are currently in decline from serious threats like white-nose syndrome. You may have seen signs for it when you're out hiking, It's a deadly disease that affects North American bats primarily during their winter hibernation.
Infected bats wake up early from hibernation, rapidly deplete their fat reserves and are unable to survive the winter. So, make sure you follow the rules and clean your clothes if you visit caves in areas that the disease is prevalent.
Do your part during the spookiest week of the year to protect animals we celebrate with decorations and movies, Michigan's bat population. You can also follow along with activities and events at BatWeek.org.
The 9 Bat Species Found in Michigan
Gallery Credit: Scott Clow