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Bat Signals Appear at the Sacramento Zoo

Categories: Animals, Conservation, Volunteer

Bat BoxWhen meandering through the zoo on your next visit you might notice a bat shaped graphic on boxes in the trees around the zoo. The Sacramento Zoo is signaling to local bats and visitors, that we have houses here for them thanks to Boy Scout Josh Simmons.

Josh chose to construct and install bat houses at the Sacramento Zoo for his Eagle Scout Project. He hopes that by building the bat houses, local bats will have more options for adequate areas to roost and reproduce. Josh completed the construction of six individual bat houses and four colony houses that have been installed around the Sacramento Zoo. We hope that an insect hungry family of little brown bats will choose the zoo as their new home.

Bats have a reputation of being spooky or even dangerous, but they are actually some of the most beneficial animals to people. All native Northern California’s bats are insectivores. They feed on night-flying insects, including pesky mosquitoes. A single little brown bat can eat 3,000 mosquito-sized insects a night, and a colony of 150 big brown bats can eat enough beetles to save farmers almost a billion dollars annually in crop damages and pesticide costs. Without bats, we would be more dependent on toxic chemicals to control unwanted insects.

Many scientific advancements are owed to bats as well: navigational aids for the blind, blood-clot medication, artificial insemination techniques, low-temperature surgery on people, and military sonar have all been inspired by our night-flying friends.

Thank you, Josh, for all of your hard work and generous donation to help this important species!