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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

Halloween is almost here. What better way to welcome October than to talk about Halloween’s favorite animal, the bat.

Walking down the decor aisle at the grocery store, I see bats everywhere. Bats are printed on mugs, bags of candy, and t-shirts. I’ve even seen a few bat stuffed animals. 

Despite the love we all seem to have for bats around this time of year, something truly frightening is the peril these creatures are facing. Over 200 bat species worldwide are classified as threatened, including several that are considered critically endangered. 

Climate change is one of the largest issues facing bats today. Rapidly changing global temperatures affect bats’ food and water supply. Recently, bats are faced with either too much or too little water as the temperatures in their environments increase.

A critical part of bat conservation has always been preserving and protecting roosts (roosts are defined as any place that a wild bat uses for shelter or protection). The solution was often a bat gate, a device that allows bats to fly in and out of their homes in caverns or caves, but does not allow predators or humans to disrupt their roost. But now, when conservationists go to restore a roost, they must also worry about providing adequate water.

If bats lack access to water, they can lose over a third of their body weight. In addition, female bats need large amounts of water to effectively reproduce, thirteen times the amount of a male bat. 

Bat Conservation International, a leader in both research and conservation, has been working to restore water sources to boost access to pooled water. Bats can only drink while in flight, so standing water must be available to them. You can read about this specific project here.

A bat drinking water

A lack of available water isn’t the only issue bats have to fear. With rising global temperatures, wildfires are sweeping across the country. In the southwest, fires destroy the agave plant, a source of food for a variety of long-nosed bats. 

Unpredictable weather patterns caused by climate change can negatively impact bat migration and hibernation patterns. Reducing global temperatures is important to making sure bats hang around for a while. Bats must store enough energy to sustain them during hibernation, and making sure they have an adequate supply of food and water is important to their survival. 

Conservationists are working to restore and create habitats for endangered bats. Bat Conservation International does amazing work to improve habitats for bats and raise awareness about the issues impacting their environment and keep bats hanging around. You can check out their official website here.

Rin is a fourth year student studying English Education with an English minor. She plans to attend law school after graduation. She is passionate about current issues, mental health, and writing. She enjoys reading, rom-coms, hiking and the outdoors, true crime, Harry Potter, and Monty Python.