International Bat Appreciation Day Date in the current year: April 17, 2024

International Bat Appreciation Day Bats have a bit of a bad reputation due to their close association with witchcraft and vampires, but in reality they play an important role in ecosystems and provide humans with some great benefits. International Bat Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on April 17 to dispel negative stereotypes about bats and raise awareness of the importance of bat conservation.

Bats are primarily nocturnal flying mammals that make up the order Chiroptera. They are the second largest order of mammals after Rodentia (rodents) and the only mammals that are capable of true flight. In facts, their wings make bats more agile in flight than most birds.

There are approximately 1,400 bat species that can be found on all continents except Antarctica. They can range in wingspan from 6 inches (Kitti’s hog-nosed bat) to 5 feet 7 inches (giant golden-crowned flying fox). Many bats feed on insects, and most of the rest feed on fruit or nectar. Contrary to a popular association of bats with vampires, only three extant bat species are exclusively hematophagous, i.e. feed solely on blood.

Bats play an important role in their ecosystems. Insectivorous bats help control insect populations, while nectarivorous bats pollinate flowers and disperse seeds. They also provide humans with a number of benefits: bats consume insect pests and insect that transmit diseases, and bat guano (partially decomposed bat excrement) is used as a highly effective fertilizer.

Sadly, many bat species are classified as threatened. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as of 2020 1.6% of all species of bats were classified as critically endangered, 6.3% as endangered, 8.3% as vulnerable, and 6.7% as threatened. The main threats that bats face are habitat fragmentation and destruction, loss of food, pollution, hunting and killing, and collisions with wind turbines.

International Bat Appreciation Day was started by Bat Conservation International, a globally recognized conservation organization dedicated to preventing bat extinction by conserving the world’s bats and their habitats. The main goals of the holiday are to highlight the important role bats play in biodiversity and ecosystems and to encourage the general public to contribute to bat conservation in any way they can.

There are many ways to participate in International Bat Appreciation Day. You can learn interesting facts about bats and share them with friends, read a book or watch a documentary about bats, binge some of the Batman movies, donate to or volunteer for a bat conservation organization, check out the bat exhibit at your local zoo, share your positive experiences with bats, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #InternationalBatAppreciationDay and #BatAppreciationDay.

International Bat Appreciation Day should not be confused with International Bat Night. The latter is held annually on the last full weekend of August. It is observed primarily in European countries that have joined the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS).

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International Observances, Ecological Observances


International Bat Appreciation Day, international observances, environmental observances, Bat Conservation International