Why are bats important?
Happily hunting insects at dusk when we are settling in for the evening, bats are among the most misunderstood animals in the world. They are warm-blooded mammals, just like us. Female bats usually have only one pup per year and they will faithfully raise the newborn to maturity. They quietly provide an invaluable service by feasting upon millions of insects each night. Vital to the ecosystem that includes our own backyards, we — humans — present the biggest health threat to our night-time guardians. Large portions of prime bat habitat is destroyed each year, forcing them to relocate into places that we have built for ourselves.
Bats are Protected in Michigan
The Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act of 1994 authorizes the MDNR to issue orders regarding the protection of certain wildlife in the State. The MDNR has identified all of the nine species of bats found in Michigan as "Protected Animals". The act is designed to discourage residents from rehabilitating injured or downed bats due to the risk for rabies. The act does not allow residents to keep them in captivity.
Critter Catchers - Bat Conservation Activities
1) For over a decade, we contribute toward conservation efforts around the world to assist endangered bat species through the Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC). Many of these bats are a vital to sustain the local ecosystem. Unfortunately, OBC closed in 2018.
2) A bat conservation scholarship was offered & provided twice to students that were associated with Indiana State University Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation.
3) We were a sponsor of the 2007 Great Lakes Bat Festival, located at Indiana State University. The festival is co-hosted by the Organization for Bat Conservation and the Indiana State University Center for Research and Conservation for North American Bats.
4) We are a sponsor of the Great Lakes Bat Festival's from 2007-2017.
5) As a way to inspire future Biologists, we established a Bat Educational Grant in 2008 that helps bring OBC's Live Bat Experience into Michigan Schools.
What can you do to help bats?
You can make a difference in your Michigan neighborhood by hiring a properly trained bat exclusion company to remove bats from undesirable locations. Additionally, you can provide suitable habitat and offer a new home for the bats by installing a bat house. In return, the bats will help keep insect populations in check, making your outdoor evening activities more enjoyable.
The Organization for Bat Conservation has developed an exceptional bat house design that is available for purchase.