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Year of the Bat

December 26, 2011
By: Brenda, Director of Education and Volunteers, Audubon Zoo

Another year has passed (too quickly!) and it is time to think about what is happening in this New Year.  2012 is the International Year of the Bat and the Association of American Zoos and Aquariums want you to know the value of this misunderstood creature. Bats play an essential role in a healthy ecosystem and they are threatened by disease and loss of habitat.

How about inviting a bat to your New Years Eve party?  You better stock up on fermented fruit.  Pound for pound fruit bats can out-drink any human.  Many of species of bats metabolize the alcohol so quickly they never get drunk.

If you celebrate bats at your New Years Eve party make sure you toast the fact that bats save farmers billions of dollars annually. A single brown bat can eat more that 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in just one hour.

If you like bananas, cashews, cotton t-shirts, pickles, cucumbers, peaches or (if you are over 21) tequila you might want to thank bats. They are the natural pest controllers and pollinators for farmers.

Some people think bats are scary-far from it! The scariest thing about bats is that they are disappearing.  The Audubon Zoo and other zoos across America are going to have educational programming focusing on bats throughout 2012 so keep your eyes and bat-ears open for upcoming events.

Happy 2012 to all creatures—especially bats! 

Mailing address: Audubon Nature Institute 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118
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