Fur & Claw
According to the U.S. Geological Survey;
“By eating insects, bats save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars per year in pest control. Some studies have estimated that service to be worth over 3.7 billion dollars per year, and possibly as much as 53 billion dollars per year.
This value does not, however, take into account the volume of insects eaten by bats in forest ecosystems and the degree to which that benefits industries like lumber. It also doesn’t take into account the critical importance of bats as plant and crop pollinators. So the actual monetary worth of bats is far greater than 3.7 billion dollars per year.” (www.USGS.gov)
Proposing this framework from the economic benefit of a species brings up complicated feelings ~ that the worth of an animal’s right to exist and be treated with respect should not be determined by its monetary value. But with the systems we currently coexist in, this information is valuable. Decreasing the need for chemical sprays and poisons for mosquitoes and other bothersome insects is a worthwhile foundation to stand on. If we support more species who feed on mosquitoes, the less dependent on using poisons we can be. Building and sustaining habitat for bats benefits any ecosystem.
Bats are increasingly at risk with coming into contact with a dangerous fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, also known as white nose syndrome. Do not approach or touch any bat that you may come across, and if you do, wash your hands and clothing immediately and report any sightings with your local Fish & Game.