Le 27 août, la nuit appartient aux chauves-souris!

Associated with the Devil's manifestations, vampires and witches, the long series of strong myths surrounding bats spark the imagination. However, the benefits of bats for the ecosystem and human population deserve as much attention, if not more so, than the legends that surround the only flying mammal on Earth.

Few people know that more than 500 species of plants are dependant of bats to pollinate their flowers, such as some varieties of banana, mango, guava and... the agave, a cactus used in the making of mezcal and tequila. The 166 species of fruit-eating bats also contribute to the dispersal of seeds and, in doing so, participate in the regeneration of fruit trees. Finally, insectivorous bats are a fearsome ally in the fight against all insects judged as harmful to culture and harvest. A single brown bat consumes its weight equivalent of insects every night, which corresponds to nearly 3000 mosquitos : millions of bats around the world are battling this biological and completly natural fight everyday!

The Zoo de Granby is strongly invested in protecting this little winged mammal. Since 2016, the Zoo operates the only sanctuary of the region, which welcomes bats that are disturbed during their hibernation, in order to keep them safe during winter until their release in spring. Since its opening, 378 bats passed by the sanctuary and have benefited of our help during this critical period. Some experts from the Zoo also gave training sessions to some local businesses regarding parasite management to help adapt their behaviour when faced with bats. The training forwards the species' survival by providing sensitization rather than encouraging the elimination of bats when they are found in attics.

Related to the International Bat Night ( August 27-28), test your knowledge on this mythical animal :