October 15, 2019
Gov. Henry McMaster has proclaimed Oct. 24-31 as Bat Week in South Carolina, officially recognizing bats as an important species to the state.
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 mosquitoes 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.
To celebrate the species, SCDNR and Sunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest will be holding a Halloween Bat Count and Celebration on Oct. 25.
The event, located at Sunrift Adventures, will include a bat talk, prizes, a raffle for a bat box and, of course, a bat count all starting at 6 p.m.
SCDNR Bat Biologist Jennifer Kindel is committed to improving bat populations across the state, 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 2013, and dramatic population declines in species such as the Tri-colored bat have been seen in the state ever since.
Did you know?
- For the first time, three pregnant Northern long-eared bats were captured and released by SCDNR staff on the coast.
- 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 five minutes.