Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
. . . Coming Out of the Dark
Oklahoma Bats in Trouble
In recent years, bat research scientists have noted serious population declines
in several species. Oklahoma has three species on the federal list of endangered
species--the Indiana, gray and Ozark big-eared bats--and three candidate species--Southeastern,
small-footed and Rafinesque's big-eared bats. Three main causes for the decline
in bat populations are:
- Loss of habitat from surface mining operations, urbanization, lake
and reservoir construction, and cave commercialization.
- Vandalism from people not understanding the important role bats
play in the ecosystem. They needlessly kill and disturb bats in maternity
caves and during hibernation.
- Pesticides entering bats via the numerous insects they eat which
have been sprayed with agricultural pesticides.
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