Help us spread the word about our annual Bat Art Contest! The contest is for all ages (categories in three age groups). Those who enter have a chance to win cash $$$ prizes!
Entries are due 16 September 2016, so spread the word and get started on your project.
For more details and to enter visit our page, Bat Festival Art Contest.
We hope to see you at our 10th Annual Indiana Bat Festival! This is a free event for the whole family that includes lots of kids activities, presentations with live bats and other wildlife, plus exciting presentations from scientists who study bats from right here in Indiana and all around the world!
ISU Bat Center Director, Dr. Joy O’Keefe, was the author of a recent blog post on the new Save the Bats blog hosted by the Organization for Bat Conservation. If you are interested in Indiana bats or bats of Indiana, click on the Indiana bat to get to the post!
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) photo by Caroline Byrne, M.S.
Spring is always busy with hiring for bat season and this one is no exception. Whether you are a seasoned biologist or a novice, we have some bat postings for you over on our Bat Jobs page. Bookmark this link to keep tabs on the latest bat jobs!
As we approach the end of 2015, you may be thinking about ways to contribute to bat conservation. I personally believe that education is critical to environmental awareness and conservation, so the Bat Center spends a significant amount of time conducting programs where we work (we talked to more than 3000 people in 2015). While we rarely ask for donations, your support is actually critical to the longevity of the ISU Bat Center! We depend ENTIRELY on grant funding (for staff salaries, travel, and supplies) and my students and I volunteer our personal time for most of our outreach events. If you’d like to contribute to support the Bat Center’s outreach, including our 10th Annual Indiana Bat Festival in Sept 2016 (free!), please follow the instructions on this page. It will take no more than 5 minutes for you to make a donation. We appreciate every dollar donated and promise to use your funds wisely to pay for supplies for kids’ activities, speaker fees for the Bat Festival, and staff salaries.
Director, Center for Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation
Some fascinating new information on the taxonomic relationships of bats in the genus Lasiurus, the hairy tailed vespertilionid bats. Amy Baird and others have determined that yellow bats merit their own genus, Dasypterus. Red bats maintain claims on the Lasiurus genus. While hoary bats are still considered a sister taxon to Lasiurus, the authors found they should be in a new genus–Aeorestes. And that’s not all! Work by Russell et al. (PLoS One, 2015) had previously demonstrated that hoary bats invaded Hawaii multiple times. Baird and other show that there are two extant Aeorestes species in Hawaii. You can find Baird’s paper in the latest Journal of Mammalogy issue.
To compare the bats in these three genera, check out the Lasiurus photo gallery on Michael Durham’s page.
Bats are an excellent topic of conversation, anytime! We suggest you share these facts with your friends and family over your holiday dinner. Where will the conversation go from here?!
- There are over 1300 species of bats in the world, which is one-fifth of all mammal species.
- Fourteen species of bats have been found in Indiana; two may have been extirpated. Take a guess at the number in your area using the Chiroptera map from Biodiversity Global.
- Bats are the only mammals capable of true powered flight.
- In a single night, a bat can eat up to 100% of its body weight in insects, including many agricultural and human pests.
- Bats pollinate at least 528 different species of plants, including agave, which is the primary ingredient in tequila.
- Only 3 species of bats eat blood. Vampire bats are found from Mexico to South America. They take blood meals from birds and large mammals, like cattle.
- Most bat species can live to be 10-30 years old. A bat in Russia was documented at more than 40 years old! Most female bats have only 1 pup per year, which is very different from other small mammals.
- Fewer than 1% of bats carry rabies.
- Not all bats echolocate—Old World fruit bats lack the ability to use true echolocation, though some fruit bats in Africa use tongue clicks in the same way that blind people navigate.
- Bats use a variety of roosts, including but not limited to: caves, trees, rock crevices, bridges, attics, leaf litter, and bat houses.