Why bats are important to Illinois’ ecosystem

Bats are taking the spotlight this week, as enthusiasts aim to raise awareness about these flying mammals' crucial role in the ecosystem.

Unlike legendary vampires with their centuries of existence, the oldest known bat lived to the age of 41, a remarkable feat in the animal kingdom.

What's even more impressive is the contribution they make to our comfort. Bats consume a significant amount of bugs every night, sometimes up to their entire body weight. This menu includes mosquitoes, flies, beetles, moths, and more, making bats invaluable to our forests.

By consuming insects that harm trees, they play a vital role in preserving forest habitats and crop health.

To ensure the well-being of bat populations, protecting trees and forest environments is essential. Additionally, minimizing light pollution at night can help bats navigate more effectively, preventing them from becoming disoriented.

The best times to spot bats are during the warmer months, especially at dusk, along the treeline.