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MassWildlife, Bat Week

October 24 - October 30

This October, forget about the haunted house—build a bat house instead!

little brown bat

Bat week starts October 24 and is designed to raise awareness about the need for bat conservation and to celebrate the role of bats in nature. Bats are often misunderstood or even feared. But these fascinating flying mammals play a critical role in our environment and many bat species are in decline. Massachusetts is home to nine species of bats, five of which are considered endangered. One of the greatest threats to bats is White-nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that has devastated populations of bats that spend their winters hibernating in caves and mines. Other threats include habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change.

Despite the threats, there are ways to help bats. Get ready to celebrate Bat Week at the end of the month by learning about what you can do to protect the bats in your backyard!

Bat box at Mill Brook Bogs WMA

How you can help bats

One of the best ways you can support bat conservation is to put up an artificial roost, like a bat house. Bat houses give females a safe, warm place to raise their young. Since most female bats only have one pup each year, bat populations grow very slowly. Habitat loss and degradation is making it more difficult for bats to locate natural roost sites. Installing a bat house on your property can provide a safe environment for bats, while ridding your yard of pest insects, like mosquitoes, moths, and beetles. Bat houses can be purchased or you can build your own. MassWildlife offers instructions for building and installing a bar house.

Other ways to help:

  • Educate yourself and others to help dispel myths and fears about bats. Read the Massachusetts Wildlife magazine article Bat Myths Debunked, to learn more about the fascinating and beneficial features of bats.
  • Be a citizen scientist. If there is a colony of 10 or more bats on your property, please report it here. Colonies may be found in trees, buildings, attics, barns, sheds, or other outbuildings. This information will be used to help conserve the state’s endangered population of little brown bats.
  • Protect habitat for bats. If you have old, dead, or dying trees on your property, leave them standing as potential roost sites for bats.
  • If you must exclude or evict bats from your home, ensure the process is safe and humane by following MassWildlife’s recommendations found in the Massachusetts Homeowner’s Guide to Bats.
  • Reduce pesticide use to ensure there are plenty of insects for bats to feed on.
  • Create a bat-friendly landscape in your backyard by adding water features, such as a pond, and night-scented flowers.

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.

Details

Start:
October 24
End:
October 30
Website:
https://www.mass.gov/news/celebrate-bat-week