The second edition of my “Arizona Wildlife Notebook” will be off to the printer (CreateSpace) as soon as I finish the cover. This edition has introductions and checklists for 12 groups of Arizona animal species: Amphibians, ants, bats, birds, butterflies and moths, dragonflies and damselflies, fish, grasshoppers, lizards, mammals, snakes, and turtles. Groups in bold type are new to the Notebook. The introduction to each group covers the group’s conservation issues and provides references for printed and online field guides. The checklist for each group includes scientific and common names and conservation status. I alphabetized each checklist by scientific name, and I included an index for all the common names. Continue reading →
Big Brown Bat from Smithsonian North American Mammals
The most important change since my last post about Arizona bats is the increased risk of white-nose syndrome. The disease continues to spread west from its point of introduction on the U. S. Atlantic coast despite research and quarantine efforts. In September, 2013, researchers confirmed the disease had reached Oklahoma and South Dakota (http://whitenosesyndrome.org/resources/map).
“Baby animals you see are probably not orphans; parents are usually nearby.”
Wildlife Rescue in Arizona is licensed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Visit the AZGFD website for a list with contact information and taxa treated. A second list includes other animal charities in Arizona. Find more information from local veterinarians and animal control departments of local governments.
These organizations provide additional information:
Bats are encouraged to reside in many places because they eat insects and pollinate plants. Austin, Texas, for instance, is proud of its large bat population, and refers to itself as Bat City. I am anxious to see more bats near my home because they eat mosquitoes, my personal nemesis. Little Brown Bats can eat 1,000 mosquitoes per hour.
A bat house built in my back yard in 2004 remained vacant until 2011. The house has room for 600 bats, but only 11 moved in. The number did not increase in 2012—still waiting to see what happens in 2013. The house is near three large stock ponds. Dragonflies, hummingbirds, flycatchers, and swallows find plenty of insects to eat during the day, so it seems reasonable to expect the house will eventually be home to more than 11 bats.
The only entities that gain from bat extinction are insecticide producers.