The Indiana bats are an endangered species because they are slowly disappearing from the face of the planet. As they are threatened, there is a high probability that they become rare in the future. The purposes of U.S Wildlife Service’s endangered program is to protect, re-organized and reestablish them properly so that they can be kept alive for future.
Table of Contents
- Indiana bat identification
- Why are they threatened?
- Bats in the attic
- Indiana attic cleanup & restoration
Indiana bat identification
Myotis Sodalis is the precise name given by the scientists to Indiana bat. Myotis meant Mouse Ear. It denotes the small, mouse-like ear of the bat group. The word Sodalis is also used to represent Indiana bat which is a Latin word and means Companion. The species, Indiana bat, has become very rare. They hibernate in groups.
Size and appearance
These bats are small in size, and their weight is approximately equal to a quarter of an ounce. During the flight, they have a wingspan of 10 to 11 inches. Their furs are dark brown and black. They are comparable in looks to various other species. Biologists compare them with other species by the configuration of their foot and different colors in their furs.
They hibernate and hide throughout the winter season in warrens or wild and uninhibited mines. They need cool, humid potholes with constant temperature about 50° F and above the freezing point for the hibernation. There are very limited caverns that have the required temperature for their hibernation.
They used to hibernate during the winter season to survive because in winter bat eating insects are not available. These creatures used to store energy before hibernating because throughout the hibernation period the stored fat is the only source to get energy.
They also migrate in summer the wooded forests, there they hide in trees bark on departed or failing trees after the hibernation. Throughout the summer male settles in small collections, and female bats establish themselves in bigger groups of approximately 100 bats. They get food from the edges of wooded areas. Loss and fragmentation of forest can be harmful to the bats as well.
They eat different flying insects found in the rivers, lakes or upland areas. The insects they eat are moths, beetles, flies and other small flying insects. They used their sense named echolocation that is similar to sonar used in ships to find out their food and preys. They produce a high-frequency sound that spring back to their preys. Through this, they locate and estimate the size of their food by listening to the sound that returns to them. By eating all the insects, they benefit the human in pest controlling process. They eat half of their body weights insects every night, and that is not insignificant.
They are social as denoted by their name Social Myotis. They do not have any social chain of command, but males and females hide together in the winter. Females, as discussed earlier, separated from the clusters when getting pregnant and spend time in a maternity colony. They go to the wooded areas in the summer.
They reproduce in fall before they get to the caves for hibernation. Female bats became pregnant after the hibernation by storing the sperms through the winters.
After the traveling, they settle under the shedding bark of the failing or dead trees in a cluster of approx. 100. These groups and clusters are also known as maternity colonies. Taking care of the young and new born baby bats are the responsibility of the mother bat, and they leave the bark only to get food. These species give birth to only one baby bat per year. The young bat lives in the maternity group for its first summer.
They are found in the eastern part of United States. Half of their species used to hide in caverns in the Southern part of Indiana. The states that maintain the population of around 40,000 were Missouri, Kentucky, New York and Illinois. Other states that close to Indiana are Connecticut, Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Vermont, Virginia. They range about 457000 in 2005 that is half of the listed species that are becoming extinct in 1967.
- They are becoming rare due to the disease named white-nose syndrome since 1967. It is a fungus that kills the bats and is not completely discovered by the scientist yet.
- Indiana bats are 3.5 cm long and 10-inch wingspan. They weigh only 0.34 ounce. They used to eat small insects.
- They live up to 14 years only.
- These creatures are social that is why their group is known as Hibernacula and use to hibernate in groups during winter.
Why are they threatened?
They used to live in caves only so they are helpless when disturbed by anyone. They hide in caves that could help 20000 to 50000 bats in hiding. They used to die due to trouble caused by humans throughout their hibernation time.
Commercialization of caves and inappropriate gates
The caves have been commercialized for tourists that disturb the bats and drives them away. By blocking the cave entrance, one can change its temperature. Even though a smaller temperature can help them a lot in surviving. Many caves are blocked by gate preventing people from getting in the caves. It also changes the direction of air that will cause humidity and can be harmful to them. Gates should be installed correctly, so that prevent people from getting inside the caves and disturbing them. Proper air installation could be made for the direction of air in the cave.
Pollutants and impurities in the environment
Insectivorous bats could have a limitless food source, but in other wooded areas, they have to face food scarcity due to the use of pesticides. The scientist did some research and came to know that their population is decreasing due to impurities and pollutants in the environment. Indiana bats are affected by drinking contaminated and polluted water, intake of contaminated insects and inhaling the chemicals produced by different gasses.
They could be problematic when disturbed, or their habitat will be destroyed, the possibility is they will move to the rooftops and homes. They are also the carriers of rabies infection. Though this disease is rare and humans will not get to it easily. Their exclusion is only the closing of the whole structure in which the bats are present. One opening of the place should be left open for them to escape. Then, after some days examine the place efficiently, the holes left open for their exclusion should be blocked. Some other methods of prevention are given below:
- Bat control and bat removal
- Bat exclusion
- Removal of dead bats
- Inspection of bats in home and office
- Comprehensive attic renewal
Bats in the attic
This is the most common place for bats to live in and this could be problematic for your home. Their number could increase if space is vast and significant. This is the issue no one alone can handle. Once the bat has found the right and appropriate place to live, they will not leave the place quickly. You should hire professional bat exclusions to get rid of your bat problem.
Indiana attic cleanup & restoration
When the bats are removed from your attic, you should thoroughly examine the places where a bat could reside. It is necessary because bat urine can damage your property. Professional bat cleaners will help you in getting rid of the bat guano as well.
Removal of dead bats
Elimination of the dead bats is also necessary because their flush can cause a bad odor and damage your house. After the removal of bats from your home, freshen the place to avoid any smells you could have in future.
Bat boxes help in eliminating procedure by giving the bats place to exit process by providing another branch outside of the building. This is a good idea help to remove bats from home. Groups of bats could be evaluated for future population health and White Nose Syndrome.
As we know that bats can be disturbed easily. There are only a few caves that give them their desired temperature for hibernation. Lower the temperature of the required place to remove them from your house and let the holes open for them and when they are gone sealed those holes so that they could not get in again.
Bat feed on insects, so one of the best ways to get them away from your house is to control insects. Consult any pest control company to remove the bugs from your house to avoid bats.
Indiana Bat facts