DNR News** Archived Article - please check for current information. **
Governor's office recognizes Bat Week in South Carolina October 22, 2018
A proclamation from Governor Henry McMaster’s office has declared October 24-31 Bat Week in South Carolina.
For wildlife biologists, zoo managers, and other professionals who work with bats, every week is bat week, but now everyone can get in on the act and learn more about these fascinating and beneficial mammals as well. Gov. Henry McMaster has signed a proclamation officially marking October 24-31 as “Bat Week” in South Carolina. This year's theme for Bat Week nationwide is “Be a Bat Hero!” More information at: https://batweek.org/.
As outlined in the proclamation, South Carolina is home to fourteen species of bats that provide a valuable boost to farmers and others by helping to control of mosquitos and other insect pests. The proclamation also notes the importance of “continuing federal and state efforts, including developing new public-private partnerships and increasing citizen engagement to promote the health of bat populations; increase the quality and quantity of bat roosting and foraging habitat; and restore bat populations to healthy levels” in the Palmetto State.
In the Upstate, SCDNR biologist Jennifer Kindel works with bat populations there, monitoring their status and watching carefully for signs of White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease that has decimated bat populations in other states. The first WNS case in South Carolina was confirmed in March of 2013, and dramatic population declines in species such as the Tri-colored bat have been seen in the state ever since.
On October 26th, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Kindel will be manning the "bat booth" at the Greenville Zoo. Interested people are welcome to stop by with your questions and stories about bats. On Saturday evening, October 27th in Travelers Rest, Sunrift Adventures and the SCDNR will be holding their third annual Halloween bat count. Sunrift's bat houses foster hundreds of beneficial insect-eating bats that emerge in an impressive display at sunset. There will be a bat talk, a bat count, prizes, and a raffle for bat boxes.
Cool Bat Facts:
- Bats provide an average annual pest suppression service of $115 million to South Carolina’s agricultural industry, or nearly $23 billion nationwide.
- A single bat can consume 75 mosquito sized insects in 5 minutes.
- The Brazilian free-tailed bat is the fastest flying animal on earth. This species has been clocked at a flying speed of 100 mph.
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