Here’s What to Do If You Encounter an Injured Bat in Indiana
I can't think of bats without immediately quoting Hunter S. Thompson from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas - "We can't stop here! This is bat country!" but literary quotes aside, bats are an integral part of our eco-system and it is migration season here in Indiana.
Spring is Bat Migration in Indiana
According to the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife, spring is when bats migrate. They say some species are already traveling while others are just waking up. This time of year, it's not uncommon to see bats flying around in the Hoosier state and you may even spot one hanging out under the eaves of your home.
Indiana is Home to 13 Different Species of Bats
There are actually 13 different bat species that call the Hoosier State home. Six of those species are subterranean, meaning they live underground in caves or mines when it's time to hibernate. The Big Brown Bat is the only one of the thirteen species found in Indiana that is not considered to be either "State Endangered" or of "Special Concern." Of the thirteen bat species found in Indiana, the Eastern Small-footed bat, Rafinessque's Big-eared Bat, and the Southeastern Bat are the most rare.
Bats Are Remarkably Useful to Our Environment
While you may not think bats are as cool as I do, the truth is they are remarkable creatures. They can eat half of their body weight in insects like beetles and mosquitoes - every night, and they are a tremendous asset to our ecosystem. In fact, according to the Indiana Department of Resources,
Many insects eaten by bats are harmful agricultural and forest pests. It is estimated that the economic impact to the agricultural industry due to the loss of insect-eating bats in North America could exceed $3.7 billion per year.
What To Do If You Encounter an Injured Bat in Indiana
With these miraculous little bug-eaters on the move this time of year, it is entirely possible that you might encounter one that has been injured but do you know what to do or who to call if you find a bat in need? You can find all the recommendations on determining if an animal is in fact in need of human aid by visiting the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. You should note that it is illegal to possess wildlife in Indiana without the proper permit so if you encounter an injured animal, you can check the list of permitted wildlife rehabilitators in the state. You can reference that list by county to find someone who is registered with the state of Indiana to care for injured bats.
[Source: Indiana DNR]
Animals You Might Encounter in The Wild in Indiana