When we think of bats we probably have a misconception of them being these scary, if not vampiric monsters. But the truth is they’re far from that. They’re actually quite cute. One organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating bats, Bats Queensland, has been working tirelessly to educate the public on the importance of these animals. The non-profit is entirely run by volunteers who work hard to save injured bats and care for them – bringing them back to health in order to later release them into the wild. The organization focuses on the two main groups of bats, flying foxes and microbats.
The group is often called out to assist bats who have been found either ensnared in barbed wire or entangled by fruit netting – both of which can cause serious injuries to the bats. The organization uses the money they get through donations to cover the medical costs of caring for the bats. In order to raise awareness of the needs of the bats, as well as help to dispel certain negative stereotypes, this organization is very active on social media.
They will frequently share lots of pictures of the bats that are in their care. Some of the bats are in the aviary where they like to “hang out,” while others are wrapped up in blankets while they recover. Either way, these bats are definitely getting the best care possible. And seeing their pictures on social media just makes us like them even more. Bats Queensland will also frequently share the stories of how each of their bats landed in their care – a way for them to remind the public of these animals’ fragility.
Another part of their mission is to educate the public about the different functions that these animals serve – they’re quite important to the environment. For example, the flying fox plays an important role in cross-pollinating coastal trees, and they’re particularly important to the survival of the hardwood flower since these flowers can only be pollinated during the night. That is what makes these bats so important to the job. Flying fox bats can actually travel further distances than bees or birds – and in a single night, one solo flying fox is able to distribute up to 3,000 seeds! Meanwhile, the microbats are important since they feed on insects. In one night these little creatures can consume up to a third of their body weight! They make such great natural insect repellents that some organic farmers have actually put up bat boxes on their farms as a natural pest control. These bats can catch as many as 500 insects in the span of one hour! That is amazing.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.