Bats are one of the most abundant orders of mammals with over 1400 different species. North Carolina alone has 14! They are not something to be afraid of and they actually need our help. You may wonder why we should help them though?
Bats provide many benefits to humans, first they are an incredible method of pest control for pesky things like mosquitoes. They also act as both seed dispersers and pollinators. Without them, we wouldn’t have foods like bananas, cacao, or cashews.
North American bat species are in danger because in 2006 a disease called White Nose Syndrome was found in a bat colony in New York and has killed millions since. In these activities you will learn about local bat species, White Nose Syndrome, and how you can help keep these important animals a part of our ecosystem.
To earn your badge, complete at least ONE activity for each section. Then, log your experience using the link at the bottom of the page.
Learn Bats 101 – Explore Bats Conservation International’s page on Bats 101! Find 5 facts that you didn’t know about bats and at least 2 of them need to be something that you like about bats.
Watch Wild Kratts – For grades K-2 watch Wild Kratts – Creatures in the Night, available on YouTube.
Watch Bat Squad Video- For grades 2-5 watch the Bat Squad Video about White Nose Syndrome, available on YouTube.
Bat Houses – Go to Bat Conservation’s website and learn about making your backyard bat friendly. What could installing a “bat house” (similar to a bird house) in your your yard or neighborhood do to help your community’s ecosystem? Find one spot in your community that a bat house could be beneficial.
Play Arbor Interactive’s Video Game – (Best for grades 3 and up) Play Arbor Interactive’s video game about white nose syndrome and bat populations in the U.S. Before playing, define evolution and adaptation to the best of your ability. After playing, answer: Did you succeed at saving the bats? What did you learn from the game? What made bat populations stay healthy through the winter? What add on (i.e. through the research tab there were things like, increase social media awareness, discover vaccine, etc) did you find most surprising?
Go on a Night Hike – With an adult go on a night hike! If you go at dusk, you will most likely see some of these crazy critters.