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Bats Save Agriculture $3 Billion a Year!

    Insect eating bats save the U.S. agriculture industry $3 billion a year in pest control service.  But, according to a recent edition of Science magazine, these bats are among the most overlooked economically important, non-domesticated animals in North America.

    “People often ask why we should care about bats,” said Paul Cryan, a U.S. Geological Survey research scientist and one of the study’s authors. “This analysis suggests that bats are saving us big bucks by gobbling up insects that eat or damage crops. It is obviously beneficial that insectivorous bats are patrolling the skies at night above our fields and forest – these bats deserve help.”

    Scientist from University of Pretoria (South Africa), USGS, University of Tennessee and Boston University authored the study. The estimated value of pest control services provided by bats in the U.S. ranges from $3.7 billion to $53 billion per year.

    Scientists are concerned that North American agriculture could see noticeable economic losses in the next four to five years because of emerging threats to bat populations. Losses could be substantial in the Midwest and Great Plains where wind energy development is booming (Many bats are dying when they collide with wind turbines). A disease, called “white-nose syndrome”, has also been spreading throughout these areas and is causing a large number of losses.