Volume 36
Issue 3
Alexis “Batgirl” Valentine has been conducting research in the Great Smoky Mountain
National Park on the effects of White-nose Syndrome on bat populations.
Photos: Micaela Jemison / BCI.

Bats are awesome for the environment! They are unique creatures of the night. Bats need our help because they are dying from a fungus called White-nose Syndrome (WNS). Kids like you can help bats too.

Why should we care about bats? Bats are important and are in decline. Do you eat foods like chocolate or PB&J sandwiches, drink hot chocolate, or use products like soap or paper? Then you are not only involved with bats, but need them too. Bats help pollinate farmers crops. Bats eat millions of harmful insects like mosquitoes. If there were no bats, there would be tons of disease-spreading bugs.

Many bats are endangered, threatened, or considered a species of concern, and need our help to build up their numbers.

All kids can be young conservationists and help raise awareness for bats. Its easy and fun too! Putting up a bat house in your yard is one way to help bats. Free plans with directions are available at batcon.org. I have two bat houses in my yard. One bat house is located in my front yard and the other in the back. Become a Bat Squad! member like me. Adopt a bat for your home or classroom. Another way to help bats is to host a bake sale or a lemonade stand and raise money for bat conservation groups like Bat Conservation International and conservationists like the original Bat Man, Merlin Tuttle. Visit your local state park and attend a bat walk with a ranger or bat scientist.

Create bat art out of recycled paper rolls. You can also read books like Stellaluna by Janell Cannon to other kids at your local library or at your own school to raise bat awareness. You can even conduct your own bat research like me.

No matter what you do to help bats, its important to always ask an adult for help and to have fun. Kids CAN make a difference. Support bats and let them flap!