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bats and skeeters

  • Subject: [cg] bats and skeeters
  • From: "Mike McGrath" MikeMcG@PTD.net
  • Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 15:13:42 -0400

"Here are the facts"?
You mean "here's one person's opinion", don't you Ken?

I'm sticking with my interview with Dr. Tom Kunz, considered one of the leading researchers in the field. Here's an excerpt:

"Everybody sitting down out there? Good. Because while bats do eat some mosquitoes, it isn't enough that you'd notice any level of control.


That's the bombshell dropped by respected bat-expert Dr. Tom Kunz, Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology at Boston University, where the Kunz Bat Lab (http://www.bu.edu/cecb/BATS/) is named in his honor. Involved with the fabulous flying mammals professionally for over 40 years, Dr. Kunz explains that popular notions of bats eating hundreds of skeeters an hour are hyperbolic extrapolations of a 1960s study that used fruit flies-not mosquitoes-in a laboratory setting.



Studies of bats in the wild have revealed that mosquitoes make up a very small part of their diet; 10% or less. Which only makes sense-mosquitoes are small and take a lot of energy to catch; much better to devour a big tasty moth and get the same amount of protein it would take dozens of skeeters to provide.



But Dr. Kunz is quick to point out that this doesn't change the bats' beneficial reputation one bit. In fact, the wonderful reality of their menu makes a discussion of bat attraction much more germane to this here show (www.youbetyourgarden.org); because, instead of the erroneously rumored mosquito majority, the bats' most common victims are agricultural pests.



Bats consume night-flying moths that would otherwise give birth to destructive pest caterpillars like the corn earworm; cucumber and potato beetles; and swarms of flying ants and termites. And the little brown bat-the most common bat in North America-does prey on a different summertime biting pest: Midges like the notorious "no see ums". And these bats do live up to the appetite part of their reputation, consuming half their body weight in insects in a single evening; all of their weight if the bat in question is nursing. So they are good. They're just not good for EXACTLY what we thought."



End excerpt.



I've noticed that a lot of research sites are replacing "mosquitoes" with the less specific "insects".

Hey--I didn't want to believe it either, but if we're serious about what we do we have to be willing to keep our minds open to accept new facts--ESPECIALLY ones we wish were different.



---Mike McG



PS: And for us GROWERS, they're now BETTER than we thought!




----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken Hargesheimer" <minifarms@gmail.com>
To: <community_garden@mallorn.com>
Cc: <OBCBats@aol.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 11:02 PM
Subject: [cg] Fwd: bats


Here are the facts on bats and mosquitoes

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: OBCBats@aol.com <OBCBats@aol.com>
Date: Apr 11, 2006 9:47 PM
Subject: Re: bats
To: minifarms@gmail.com


In a message dated 4/10/06 4:53:40 PM, minifarms@gmail.com writes:

<< I have always heard that bats eat mosquitos. Now I heard they do not.
What

is correct?


Ken Hargesheimer >>

Some bats eat mosquitoes more than others. There are 45 different bats in
the US and Canada and not all of them are regular mosquitoe eaters, but many
consume a considerable amount. Thanks for your interest in bats.

Rob Mies
Director, Biologist, Educator, Author
Organization for Bat Conservation
@ Cranbrook Institute of Science
39221 Woodward Ave.
PO Box 801
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
248-645-3232 ext. 9
www.batconservation.org

5th Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival

August 4th and 5th, 2006

at Cranbrook Institute of Science

Bloomfield Hills, MI

Go to www.batconservation.org for updates

Check out batroost.com for information about the "Stokes Beginner's Guide to
Bats," written by OBC founders Rob Mies and Kim Williams. This first guide
to
bats includes how to identify bats, construct bat houses, attract bats, and
much more!

Join the Organization for Bat Conservation today and receive 10% off your
internet purchases. Membership also includes free admission to the Bat Zone,
free
tickets to the Great Lakes Bat Festival, Quarterly newsletter "Bat
Conservation Journal," special member events, and much more!


______________________________________________________
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______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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