International Bat Appreciation Day

Smiley Bat and Bat Conservation International have declared this holiday to celebrate the bats returning from their winter migrations.

Here are just a few things you may not know about bats:
- There are nearly 1,000 species of bats in the world.
- Bats have been around since the age of dinosaurs.
- Mexican free-tailed bats can fly 10,000 feet high.
- Hibernating little brown bats can stop breathing for nearly an hour to reduce their energy needs.
- Fishing bats have an echolocation system so sophisticated that they can detect a minnow’s fin as fine as a human hair.

Whether you are a fan of these winged creatures or not, they have a tremendous impact on the insect population that can get extremely out of balance without their constant feeding. Sadly, White Noise Syndrome, a disease which causes a fungal growth around the muzzles and wings of hibernating bats is beginning to decimate bap populations across the United States.

SmileyBat is an organization started in 2009 with the goal of promoting education and positive bat imagery.
SmileyBat is also very dedicated to depicting bats in a positive light. One way that they encourage this is by coming up with a variety of keyboard representations of bats. These are things you can be sure to use in your online conversations today:

- wllw
- ^v^
- w^^w
- /|\^..^/|\

Whether you love bats or simply appreciate them for their control of insects, be sure to give a shout-out for bats today!