Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gifts from nature: Farmers’ friends

American farmers have an unsung partner in bringing your holiday favorites to the table -- bats.

Bat hunting a moth. Credit: Bat Conservation International.

During this season of holiday giving, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like to take time and reflect on the gifts we receive throughout the year from Mother Nature. Gifts of Nature are treasures to behold and wonders to be thankful for.

Next time you are serving up a heaping helping of mashed potatoes or grandma’s corn pudding, think about this: 
  • Bats eat millions of tons of insects each year- that includes many moths and beetles that are crop and forest pests. 
  •  In America and around the world, bats are an essential part of a healthy ecosystem. Not only do they control pests, bats are important pollinators and very efficient seed-dispersers. 
  • Many bat species in North America are threatened by a new disease, white-nose syndrome. The disease has killed over 5.5 million hibernating bats. 
Bats are beneficial! Take a minute to learn more about these unique and amazing animals. Build a bat house to provide bats a safe place to raise their pups.

And this holiday season, as you say your thanks over your meal with your family and friends this season, remember to thank a bat.

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