- Nearly 1,100 kinds of bats account for almost a quarter of all mammal species, and most are highly beneficial. A single little brown bat can catch 1,200 mosquito-sized insects in just one hour. Bats have an enormous beneficial financial impact on local agriculture and they play a key role in human and animal disease control.
- A colony of 150 big brown bats can protect local farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
- The 20 million Mexican free-tails from Bracken Cave, Texas, eat approximately 200 tons of insects nightly.
- Tropical bats are key elements in rain forest ecosystems, which rely on them to pollinate flowers and disperse seeds for countless trees and shrubs.
- In the wild, important agricultural plants, from bananas, breadfruit, and mangoes to cashews, dates, figs, rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal. This is the case for U.S. agriculture as well.
- Bat are exceptionally vulnerable to extinction, in part because they are the slowest reproducing mammals on earth for their size. Most produce only one young a year.
- More than half of American bat species are in severe decline or are already listed as endangered. Losses are occurring at alarming rates worldwide.
- Loss of bats increases demand for chemical pesticides, can jeopardize whole ecosystems of other animal and plant species, and can harm human economies.