Help Researchers Protect Bats


Monitoring for bat disease requires help from public. Contact if you find a dead bat.





Fun Facts About Bats

Straw Coloured Bat

  • The longest known life span of a bat in the wild is 33 years for a Little Brown bat.
  • The average life for a Pipistrelle bat is 4-5 years. The maximum life span recorded is 11 years.
  • The average life span of the Indiana bat is 10-20 years, but they can live up to 30 years.
  • A single Little Brown bat can catch hundreds of mosquitoes in an evening.
  • Little Brown bats, while hibernating can reduce their heart rate to 20 beats per minute and can stop breathing for 48 minutes at a time.
  • Little Brown bats can hibernate for more than seven months if left undisturbed.
  • A nursing Little Brown bat mother can eat more than her body weight nightly (up to 4,500 insects).
  • Bats are the only mammals capable of flight.
  • Almost 1,000 bat species can be found worldwide. Bats make up a quarter of all mammal species.
  • Bats have the second highest number of species of all mammal families – the rodent family is the largest.
  • As the primary predators of night-flying insects, bats play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature.
  • Bats species that will live in bat houses often eat insects that could damage crops, such as cucumber and June beetles, stink bugs, leafhoppers and corn worm moths.
  • Providing bat houses can help build the populations of many valuable bat species including Little Brown bats, Big Brown bats, Eastern Pipistrelle and the Eastern Long-eared bat.
  • Bat houses provide places for bats to roost, hibernate and raise young.
  • The majority of bats that use bat houses are females utilizing the house as nurseries for their young.
  • Desert ecosystems often rely on nectar feeding bats as the main pollinators of giant cacti.
  • Less than 1% of bats contract rabies; they usually only bite people in self-defense.
  • Rabies in humans is very rare in the United States. There are usually only one to two human cases per year.
  • The most common source of human rabies in the USA is from bats. From 1997-2006, 17 of the 19 naturally acquired cases of rabies in humans were associated with bats.
  • Bats are not carriers of rabies; they do not survive the disease and thus they do not harbor or spread it around for years like a true carrier would.
  • Only about ½% of tested bats are found to test positive for the rabies virus.
  • In relation to body weight, a mother Mexican Free-tailed Bat can produce more than five times as much milk as an average Holstein cow.
  • Almost 50% of American bat species are threatened or endangered.
  • The loss of insect-eating bats contributes to an imbalance in nature that helps cause increases in use of toxic pesticides that threaten our health and environment.
  • In the northern 2/3 of the U.S. and Canada, most bats migrate south in the winter.
  • Most bats that inhabit bat houses will spend the winter in caves or mines. Tree roosting bats will fly south.
  • Bats find houses by sight. If a house in the proper location meets the requirements and is needed, the bats will move in on their own.
  • Fruit bats, like the Flying Fox, are responsible for scattering up to 95% of the seeds needed for new trees in tropical rain forests.
  • Bats have existed for almost 50 million years and the fossil remains of the earliest bats differ little from the skeletons of modern bats.
  • Bracken Cave in Texas contains the largest bat colony in the world. This cave is home to as many as 20 MILLION Mexican Free-tailed bats each summer.
  • The largest urban bat colony is under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. The bridge is home to about 1.5 million Mexican Free-tail bats…roughly one bat for every human resident of the city.
  • Mexican Free-tailed bats have been known to fly up to two miles high and have been clocked at over 50 mph.
  • Some bats can lower their body temperature to just a few degrees above freezing while hibernating.
  • Plants that are pollinated by bats only bloom at night.
  • Bats are the main pollinator throughout most of the tropics and in many desert habitats. Many of the plants found in these areas would not survive without bats.
  • Plants that are dependent upon the fruit bats include bananas, breadfruit, carob avocados, dates, figs, peaches, cloves, mangos, cashew nuts and agaves.
  • Bats are not blind and have decent eyesight, but they rely mostly on their incredible sonar ability to find their way.
  • By listening to the echoes of the high-pitched sounds that they make, bats are able to judge the size, distance and movements of everything in their path.
  • Bats can enter a building through a hole as small as one inch in diameter.
  • Weighing less than a penny, Thailand’s Bumblebee Bat is the smallest mammal in the world.
  • During WWII, American military personal tried unsuccessfully to train bats to drop bombs.
  • While they are not found in the United States, the vampire bats of Central and South America have fewer teeth than any other bat because they do not need to chew their food.



To contact the BC Community Bat Program, see, email [email protected] or call 1-855-922-2287 ext. 11.