Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a 7th grade student and Save Lucy volunteer. Rachael’s interest in bats was sparked by the big brown bats that used the outside of her former home for a winter roost. Her family cheerfully hosted this wild colony
Hi everyone! Happy Endangered Species Day! (A day late. Endangered Species Day was yesterday.) I thought that because it was Endangered Species Day, we should learn about an adorable endangered bat – the Virginia big-eared bat. I think you all will agree that it is absolutely adorable with its huge ears. The Virginia big-eared bat is about 3.4 – 4 inches long. Its ears are over 1 inch long!
These bats live in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. They like to live in caves. They don’t migrate, so they live in caves all year. That worries me because the fungus that causes WNS likes to live in caves too.
I thought that the main reason Virginia big-eared bats were endangered was because of WNS, but it turns out that they think the main reason is human disturbance of their habitat. When humans disturb the colonies during hibernation, the bats lose their stored fat reserves. This can cause them to die before spring. So, on behalf of all Virginia big-eared bats, I would like to ask for people to not disturb them while they are trying to hibernate.
Another interesting fact about Virginia big-eared bats is that more of them live in West Virginia than in any other state. I think this is funny because they are called Virginia big-eared bats, not West Virginia big-eared bats. Maybe West Virginia could give us some of our bats back. Or maybe some of the bats could vacation in Virginia and decide that it’s a lovely place to stay.
If you want to read more about Virginia big-eared bats, you can read about them here.