So, why do bats need help? Bat populations, particularly in the United States, have been in trouble for a while. White Nose syndrome, a fungal infection you can read more about here, and loss of habitat have driven bat population to dire levels (also, surprisingly, wind turbines that generate wind power have been damaging to bats). Bats, which contribute to flower pollination and insect population control, are a big player in our ecosystems, and without them, we'll definitely notice. So, they're not just cute faces! Bat conservation is extremely important.
Besides, how can you say no to these faces?
Firstly, I don't know many Goths who would have a huge problem with finding a bat in their home, but there are good and bad ways to get them out. So, if you or someone you know finds yourself with a bat in your home, Bat Conservation International has a video on how to get it out without hurting yourself or the bat, and here is a quick written tutorial for outdoor and indoor bat extraction. There are slightly different procedures if you live in the UK, where bats are protected by law, so doing a quick search on your country's bat-related laws would be a good first step.
Secondly, for all your gardners out there, there are ways to make your garden more bat friendly. The Bat Conservation Trust has an essay outlining how to encourage bats, but it basically comes down to these tips: Build a bat box, build a pond, go light on the pesticides, let your garden get a little overgrown, and plant night-scented flowers (such as Four O'Clock and Night-Scented Stock.)
One of the biggest problems leading to bat endangerment is deforestation, which depletes the habitats and food sources of bats. Building a bat box is one way to give back to bats if you have enough space on your property, and it has the added bonus that you'll be able to see the bats swooping in and out during the evening and early morning hours. If you're interested in building one of your own, you can find plans and information about bat houses on the Bat World Sanctuary website, and another one here.
If you have $40 (plus shipping) you can sponsor a bat in Bat World sanctuary. Just follow the link to scroll through the pictures, read the bats' stories, and choose one to sponsor. Sponsors receive a packet with a big, glossy picture, more information about your bat, plus some other goodies.
Bonus: If you're a geek like me, you might appreciate this virtual tour of the bat world sanctuary.
How do you all think goths could help bats in our day-to-day lives? Or, do you have any cool bat stories?