Bat Appreciation Week is celebrated annually in October and takes place from October 24 to 31 this year. The holiday is a week-long celebration that focuses on different bat causes, bat education, conservation, and other amazing bat facts. The bat is one of the oldest living mammals on this earth, with a lineage that stretches back to more than 50 million years.
There are about 900 species of bats on Earth, all of which belong to the Chiroptera family.
For ages, bats have been portrayed as negative characters. Although these creatures have been in existence for a long time, they haven’t gained many fans over the years. This holiday debunks myths and eradicates the lies to portray the bat as an influential component in our ecosystem.
History of Bat Appreciation Week
The term bat is derived from the Latin word “Blatta”. Scientists state that bats, the early ancestors of the bat family, must have been around 50 million years ago. Some theories suggest that they might have evolved from the rodent family and gained the ability to fly over millions of years.
From flying foxes and trident bats to horseshoe bats, fruit bats, and bulldog bats, there are about 900 species of bats currently on Earth. Bats have had a significant influence on society and cultures throughout history. In Medieval times, bats were seen as a symbol of darkness and witchcraft. People often associate bats with the feeling of darkness and foreboding.
Bats were a symbol of death for the Aztecs however, in China, bats were seen as a symbol of good fortune. Ever since the time movies came into existence, bats have been portrayed as negative elements. Movies and T.V. shows would depict bats flying around dilapidated building ruins or old castles. The stories of vampires became popular, and thus the character of Dracula was born. Bats have also been accused of being carriers of viruses and spreading illnesses.
Many people do not know that bats play an important role in the food chain and contribute greatly to a healthier ecosystem. Bats eat many insects, including cotton earworms and cotton bollworms, thereby helping farmers keep their crops protected. Yet, humans have executed bats causing many bat species to become endangered.
Bat Conservation International was formed in 1982 by biologist Merlin Devere Tuttle to counter extinction possibilities and preserve ecosystems. This non-profit organization conducts research, and workshops and publishes books for the protection and conservation of bats. The group created Bat Appreciation Week to further spread awareness of the importance of bats within the ecosystem.
Bat Appreciation Week timeline
The earliest known species of bats appear on Earth.
Bats are seen as a symbol of witchcraft and sorcery.
Biologist Merlin Devere Tuttle forms an organization called Bat Conservation International to help protect bats from extinction.
Bat Appreciation Week is created to spread awareness of the importance of bats in the ecosystem.
Bat Appreciation Week FAQs
Are bats considered to be a good omen?
In some cultures, like in China, bats are considered a good omen. For example, two bats together are seen as the symbol of the God Sho-Hsing. Sho-Hsing in Chinese mythology is the God of longevity.
What does the Bible say about bats?
In the Bible, bats are mentioned as birds. They are referred to as unclean birds, which symbolize darkness and wretchedness.
What happens if a bat touches your hair?
There is folklore and many myths revolving around bats. Some say that your hair turns grey if a bat touches it. There are also stories that you will become bald if bat droppings fall on your hair. These, of course, are myths proven otherwise by science and research.
How to Observe Bat Appreciation Week
Donate to B.C.I.
What better way to celebrate Bat Appreciation Week than to donate to the cause of protecting bats. You can donate to Bat Conservation International (B.C.I.) or any local organization working towards protecting bats.
Share it on social media
Let everyone know that you're celebrating this day. If there are bats in your neighborhood, take pictures of them and post them on social media. You also write and post articles on bats and how they contribute to a balanced ecosystem.
Learn more about bats
Use this day to improve your knowledge of the animal kingdom. Learn more about bats, their types, food preferences, and their role in the ecosystem. You can read stories related to bats or watch movies too!
5 Facts About Bats That Will Blow Your Mind
They were popular in literature
Shakespeare's classic, “Macbeth,” has a scene where a character uses bat fur in her brew.
Their dung makes excellent fertilizer
Bat dung found in caves is an excellent fertilizer.
A fungus once killed millions of bats
White-nose syndrome (W.N.S.), caused by a fungus, killed millions of bats in the United States in 2006.
They are fast
Bats can reach speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
Baby bats are called ‘pups’
The offspring of bats are called ‘pups.’
Why Bat Appreciation Week is Important
It reminds us of the importance of bats
Bats are often portrayed negatively in our society. Bat Appreciation Week makes us realize the importance of bats in the ecosystem. It is a reminder that we should do our part in protecting these species as they play a significant role in agriculture and the environment in general.
It gives us a chance to donate and make a difference
This day gives us a chance to donate towards the protection and conservation of bats. It allows us to do something for the environment as responsible citizens and human beings.
It gives us a chance to improve our knowledge
This is also a day of learning. This day allows us to learn more about bats and how they impact our lives. When you dive into bat conservation, you will also uncover many amazing facts along the way.
Bat Appreciation Week dates