Chiroptera – Bats

Historically had a demonic reputation, and then came Covid-19…

They’re second to rodents in diversity (comprising 20% of mammalian species) but definitely surpass them in hosting infections. Bats serve as a natural repository of pathogens (including rabies).

These mammals are unique in having wings that help them fly at a speed as high as 97 km/h (60 mph) and in the pitch dark of a cave or at night.

Bats rely on the reflection of inaudible high-pitched sounds they emit to navigate and locate their prey—echolocation. From devils to superheroes, bats appear to share a rather complicated relationship with our fantasy. Some bats suck blood, after all (vampire bats!). Still, our entire ecosystems would collapse without these flying pollinators. More than 200 bat species in 60 countries are either assessed as Endangered, Critically endangered, or Vulnerable due to human activities.  Protecting their many declining and endangered species is urgently needed.