Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a soon-to-be high school 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. Rachael has been writing the Baturday News for three years.

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great week. I have been enjoying watching the Olympics. The US is doing very well and we are all very proud of our athletes. The athletes from Maryland (not too far from my home in Virginia) are doing especially well. As promised, we’ll celebrate the Olympics by learning about bats from countries around the world. I thought it would be nice to research bats from two countries that won their very first Olympic medals ever in Rio:  Fiji and Kosovo.

A photograph f a Fijian monkey-faced bat
A Fijian monkey-faced bat, looking rather worried. Perhaps it has just learned it’s critically endangered? Photo courtesy of Arkive.

Fiji only has one bat that is endemic to the country. It is called the Fijian Monkey-faced bat. Not only is this the only bat in Fiji, it is the only mammal endemic to the country, too! The Fijian monkey-faced bat is a large megabat and has orange eyes. It has thick fur and weighs up to 350 grams. Not many of these bats have been found. They only live within a 100 square kilometer region of the rainforest on the mountain of Taveuni. Because of this, it is listed as critically endangered. Scientists believe there are fewer than 1,000 Fijian Monkey-faced bats. If you want to read more about this bat, you can find some information here and here.

A photograph of an adorable Natterer
The cuteness that is the Natterer’s bat. Photo from the great organization Isle of Wight Bat Hospital.

There are a few bats that are native to Kosovo. One of them is the Natterer’s bat. The Natterer’s bat lives throughout Europe and is not considered to be endangered. It is a medium sized bat with gray-brown fur on its back and whitish fur on its underside. It has a pink face and nice big ears. It also has stiff hairs along the edge of its tail membrane. They eat moths, flies and spiders. If you want to read more about the Natterer’s bat, you can find it here.

Congratulations to the athletes of Fiji and Kosovo!

 

 

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