You may not like bats, but I’m sure you enjoy not getting bit by mosquitoes and other bugs. The fewer bats that patrol the skies the more the insect population will increase and bother us! Bats are an important part of our ecosystem and do not deserve their bad reputations.
Essex, NY, and the surrounding Champlain Valley only have two bat species that are classified as threatened/endangered according to the Lake Champlain Basin Program:
- Indiana bat (in NY, VT & Federal)
- Small-footed bat (in VT)
Endangered Bats in the Champlain Valley
“Scientists in New York and Vermont say 5,000 endangered Indiana bats have colonized the Champlain Valley. The discovery confirmed this summer is good news for a species that’s dying off in other parts of the country. But as Brian Mann reports, the bats are roosting on private land. That means new challenges for landowners and for researchers who hope to protect the species.” (North County Public Radio)
It’s a great honor to have this rare bat become part of the Champlain Valley’s wildlife. We have to protect these bats, and try to find solutions to the problems facing all of bat-kind in the United States before their populations are too decimated and the ecosystem is permanently damaged!
Despite the Indiana bat species being the only one labeled as endangered in our area, we have to take into account recent problems facing bats.
The spread of White-nose Syndrome (WNS) and other threats to bat-kind including wind turbines, pesticide infected water, and loss of habitats cause problems that reach out through the ecosystem.
The most serious and ongoing threat to our local bats is the spread of WNS. There may actually be more local bat speciesin our area that are closer to endangered status than we know because of this disease!
“Little brown bats, once the most common bat species in the Adirondacks, have plummeted 90 percent. The already endangered Indiana bat is down 60 percent. Northern bats—the species that’s been hardest hit—are down 98 percent” (Adirondack Explorer). It would not be surprising for the Northern Bat to become completely extinct in the Adirondack Park.
Just becoming aware of the troubles bats are facing and spreading that knowledge is an important step! We have to protect all of our endangered bats.
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