National Bat Appreciation Day
Even though bats have somewhat of an ominous reputation, they are actually some of the most fascinating and interesting animals on the planet. Although there are over 1,200 species of bats, only one variety of bat feeds on blood, and that’s the vampire bat.
The rest of them are either insectivores that feed only on insects or omnivores that feed on things such as fruit, nectar, and pollen. Since these animals are so intriguing, we recommend that everyone observe National Bat Appreciation Day, a holiday that falls on April 17th every year.
The History of National Bat Appreciation Day
National Bat Appreciation Day is a holiday that owes its existence to International Bat Appreciation Day. International Bat Appreciation Day was started by Bat Conservation International—also known as BCI.
They started this holiday to combat misinformation about bats and to help publicize their bat conservation efforts. It’s unclear who started National Bat Appreciation Day, but it’s clearly modeled after the international version of the holiday.
Fascinating Facts About Bats
As we examined this holiday, we came across some fascinating facts about bats. Facts that we would like to share with everyone reading this holiday now. The following facts are a great way for people to appreciate bats a little more than they currently do.
- Most bats can fly up to 60 miles per hour.
- The Mexican Free-Tailed bat can reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
- Bats can live for more than 30 years.
- Bats can locate the insects they eat completely by echolocation—allowing them to feed in the dark.
- Bats are capable of eating up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour.
- Over 50% of all the bat species in the U.S. are listed as endangered or in serious decline.
- Most bats can only give birth to one pup a year.
- One of the richest fertilizers in the world is bat droppings—also called guano.
- Pallid bats are immune to scorpion stings and feed on scorpions.
- The Bracken Bat Cave in Texas is home to the largest bat colony in the world.
- Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Flying squirrels can only glide.
- The smallest bat species, the Bumblebee Bat, is only 1.1 to 1.3 inches long and weighs only 2 grams.
- The largest bat, the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox, weighs 3.1 pounds and has a wingspan of 5 feet.
- Many bats hibernate during the cold winter months when there are no longer insects to feed on.
- During hibernation, a bat’s heart rate can drop to 4 beats per minute.
- During flight, a bat’s heart rate can top out somewhere between 400 and 1,110 beats per minute.
Observing National Bat Appreciation Day
People who want to observe National Bat Appreciation Day can do so by learning more about bats or going to a bat exhibit at a local zoo. People can also watch documentaries or read books about bats. They can also use the hashtag #NationalBatAppreciationDay on social media to raise the profile of this holiday.