An endangered species in North Carolina
What region are Gray Bats found in?
Gray Bats live in caves year round, during the summer(hotter months) they stay more towards the top of the cave, and during the winter(colder months) they stay deep down inside the cave. Gray bats are mainly found in northern Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. Some can be found in other places around the globe, but the ones I listed are the most common locations to see/find a Gray Bat.
Why are Gray Bats in danger of extinction?
According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, "Gray bats are endangered largely because of their habit of living in very large numbers in only a few caves. As a result, they are extremely vulnerable to disturbance. Arousing bats while they are hibernating can cause them to use up a lot of energy, which lowers their energy reserves. If a bat runs out of reserves, it may leave the cave too soon and die. In June and July, when flightless young are present, human disturbance can lead to mortality as frightened females drop their young in the panic to flee from the intruder. Many important caves were flooded and submerged by reservoirs. Other caves are in danger of natural flooding. Even if the bats escape the flood, they have difficulty finding a new cave that is suitable.The commercialization of caves drives bats away. Any gating on the cave that prevents access or alters the airflow, temperature, humidity, and amount of light is harmful."
What is being done to help keep Gray Bats around?
According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, "The gray bat was added to the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants on April 28, 1976." Also people themselves can help by volunteering, spreading the word, and taking action!