A species worth defending © Mario Cea Sanchez/Minden Pictures
Some folks are quick to dismiss bats as simply ‘scary’ (and the association with Halloween doesn’t help things). But during Bat Appreciation Month, consider their valuable contributions to the ecosystem. Bats around the world help to control bug populations (including agricultural pests), pollinate important plants, and disperse seeds–helping to regenerate lands that have been overharvested or otherwise damaged. In fact, what’s truly scary is how much we’d miss bats if they were gone. In North America, a disease called white-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats since it was identified in 2006–and scientists are working hard to find a way to help bats recover. One easy way to help bats is to build or buy a bat box for your property, and provide them with a safe space to roost.