Bat behavior and ecology is a fascinating field of study and may scientists are working to further develop our understanding of bats, but we still have much to learn. We do know, however, that bats are important creatures worth protecting and that we all play a vital, active role as participants in and stewards of, the natural world that both bats and humans depend on for survival.
Bats are unique animals, and the only mammal capable of flight. They have their very own taxonomic order, Chiroptera (kï-'räp-ter-a), which means "hand-wing" (their finger bones extend across the length of the wing). There are over 1100 species of bats worldwide many are in danger of extinction due to rapid anthropogenic destruction of critical habitat and their slow rate of reproduction. Though some species have been know to live as long as thirty years, female bats mature slowly and depending on the species usually have only one baby (pup) per year.
Did You Know?
Narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis), common along roadsides in the monument, is an essential plant for monarch butterflies. These incredible migratory insects lay their eggs on milkweed along their journey from Canada to Mexico.