REEDSPORT — With Halloween right around the corner, the Reedsport branch of the United States Forest Service has been taking an opportunity to dispel myths about bats and educate the community on the benefits of the creatures most commonly associated with vampires.
As part of the outreach to teach about the animals, the week of Oct. 24 to 31 has been declared Bat Week — an international celebration of the role bats play in nature.
Big Brown Bat — To view more species visit https://myodfw.com/wildlife-viewing/species/bats
Throughout the month of October, the Oregon Dunes Recreational Area Visitor Center has had a display of information about different bat species native to Oregon, along with some of the health issues that effect them and humanity's impact on the population. The display also discussed the importance of protecting bats from extinction. There also is a flyer with information specifically for kids, presenting a description of different bats and how they can help protect their habitats and avoid hurting them.
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Throughout the week, events were held around the world where speakers discussed the various issues facing bats and how people can help. While there was no information of events in Douglas or Coos counties, last Saturday a speaker gave a presentation on bats in Cape Perpetua.
According to Bat Conservation International, bats serve a vital role for the planet, as well as human society. Many species help agriculture, and city life, by eating pests that could damage crops or become a nuisance in the home. Some ecosystems also rely on bats the way others rely on bees, with bats acting as a key part of the plant lifecycle. If bats disappeared from the area, the ecosystem would fall apart.
"Without bats' pollination and seed-dispersing services, local ecosystems could gradually collapse as plants fail to provide enough food and cover for wildlife species near the base of the food chain," states the BCI.