Did you know 9 different species of bats call Delaware home?
We’ve got little brown bats and big brown bats, tricolored bats and Northern long-eared bats. We’ve got red bats, hoary bats, and silver haired bats. We’ve got evening bats, and, measuring in at roughly 3 inches, we’re pretty sure we’ve got small-footed bats, the smallest of the eastern bat species.
How many bats do we have in Delaware? You can help answer that question.
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is in need of volunteer bat spotters to help locate and count the state’s bat colonies for the annual Delaware Bat Count, a statewide study documenting population trends and bats that breed in our state. They’ll be holding a training session Saturday, May 14th from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Aquatic Resources Education Center in Smyrna (4876 Hay Point Landing Road).
Weather-permitting, the session will be followed by a visit to a bat maternity colony site for a count demonstration from 7:30-9pm. Once volunteers adopt a site, they are asked to count the bats at least twice during the summer.
Preregistration for the training is requested and can be done by contacting Alex Heinemann at 302-735-8676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can’t volunteer as a bat spotter, you can still help by spreading the word about how and why to preserve our bats:
- Bats feed at night on insects, including many pest species such as mosquitoes. Just one little brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in an hour.
- Some eat moths and beetles that damage crops. A study published in Science suggests that bats could be one of the most economically-valuable groups of wildlife to North American farmers, saving them at least $3.7 billion annually by reducing the amount of pesticides needed.
- Most mothers only birth one pup a year, making bats very vulnerable to extinction. For this reason, if you’re planning to do some sealing of your home against bat visitors this year, it’s really important to do them NOW (by the end of April) so you don’t potentially separate a pup from his mother. They can’t survive on their own.
- I feel like this should go without saying but never spray repellent or any chemical directly on bats. It’s inhumane and by the by illegal in all states.
- Nocturnal bats are also important nighttime pollinators.
Best practices for excluding bats (“Bats In Buildings” section)
To report a bat colony, or for more information on becoming a bat spotter or on proper bat exclusions, contact Alex Heinemann or Holly Niederriter at 302-735-8651, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.