What is Bat Week?
Bat Week (October 25-31) is an annual awareness campaign for bats. This year it includes a Signature Event on Capitol Hill, a social media campaign aimed to educate the public on bats, and a Guinness World Record attempt for Most Bat Houses Built in a Day. The record setting attempt will aptly be held on Halloween at multiple locations, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
More about the Signature Event:
On October 27, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will be the featured guest along with other members of Congress and their staff, leading White-nose syndrome federal experts and policy makers at a reception on Capitol Hill to kick off the week long celebration. The evening includes bat house building, educational displays from partner organizations and bat-supported food and beverages. Wildlife Acoustics will also be there demonstrating the Echo Meter Touch as an example of how the latest technology can help us study bats!
About the Halloween Guinness World Record Attempt:
Halloween day (October 31st) will mark a Guinness World Record attempt for Most Bat Houses Built in a Day. Throughout the day, participants of all ages at designated sites around the globe will attempt to build thousands of bat houses to give bats new places to roost and raise their young. Want to participate? Find a nearby site at www.batweek.org.
Ian Agranat, our President and CEO says, “Bat Week is a unique event that effectively joins the gamut of families, scientists, educators, non-profits and government agencies in a fun activity that is vitally important to the health of these remarkable creatures. Wildlife Acoustics is delighted to be a part of this effort.”
In addition to registering to be a bat house building site, you can also visit www.batweek.org for bat-related information, facts, and downloadable resources. Bat Week partners will be talking to media to educate, inspire, and inform the general public about bats throughout the week.
Why is Bat Week important?
Despite being widely beneficial to humans and ecosystems, worldwide bat populations are imperiled by many threats, including habitat destruction, pesticides and extermination. In North America, these problems have been further complicated by the appearance of an invasive fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, also known as White-nose syndrome. The fungus has so far killed several millions of bats in a span of less than 10 years. Bats become infected by white-nose syndrome while hibernating, and develop distinctive white growths on their muzzle, body, and wings, earning the condition its name: White-nose syndrome.
Bats are found in every state in the U.S. and are essential to the economy and ecology as well as the agriculture industry as pollinators and insect eaters. A recent study found that bats save $1 billion a year in crop damages around the world. The U.S. is leading the international response to white-nose syndrome in bats, and since 2008 more than a hundred partners at the Federal, state and local level have come together to research and combat the disease, including issuing more than $24 million in Federal grants.
About the Bat Week Team
The Bat Week team is comprised of representatives from federal agencies, conservation organizations and business including Bat Conservation International, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Lubee Bat Conservancy, the Save Lucy campaign, Wildlife Acoustics and Organization for Bat Conservation.
We hope you join in the effort!