In Pennsylvania, we have 9 different species of bats and all of them eat insects. Bats feed on the pesky and dangerous bugs that cause disease and destroy crops essential to our economy. Pregnant bats have been known to eat up to their body weight in bugs in just one night! There are even some species of bats in the world that act as great pollinators, just like bees.

With all these great benefits associated with bats, it is clear we need to protect them. Unfortunately in 2006, a new fungus was discovered in a New York population of bats. In 2008, this fungus appeared to spread into Pennsylvania bat populations. This fungus causes what is called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS causes sleeping bats to wake up prematurely throughout the winter when they should be hibernating. This causes them to quickly burn their limited source of fat and ultimately starve. In some cases WNF has wiped out 90-100% of bats found in a single hibernacula.

 

In the spring of 2016, local Quaker Valley alum, Hannah Bablak decided she needed to help make a change. After returning from an environmental program hosted in Cyprus, Hannah built three bat boxes which now serve as evening roosts for our local bats. Hopefully, you will see some bats flying into these boxes as the sunsets on our meadow on a warm summer evening!