SB Wildlife Care Network's Patient of the Week: Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
Patient #731 of 2021: Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
April 17 was International Bat Appreciation Day – the perfect day for Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN) to highlight these important, and commonly misunderstood, animals.
Bats are special in more ways than one. They are the only mammals capable of truly flying. With over 1,400 species of bats in the world, they make up about 20% of all mammal species on the planet. Bats, while often portrayed poorly in media, movies, and culture, are not something humans should fear. In fact, they provide a number of benefits to their respective ecosystems and to humans. 70% of bats eat insects, making them a natural source of pest control! Bats are also helpful pollinators that spread seeds for some of our favorite foods, like avocados, bananas, and peaches.
SBWCN is currently caring for a Townsend’s big-eared bat that was brought in by a citizen rescuer from Santa Ynez. This species is appropriately named – they are medium-sized bats, but they have very large ears. These bats vary from other species in that they don’t migrate, but remain relatively stationary throughout the year. Townsend’s are one of 47 species of bat that live in the U.S.
If you ever come across a bat, or any animal, that you believe needs help, call the SBWCN Helpline: (805) 681-1080.