Bats of Georgia

Bats of Georgia

Species


About

Georgia is home to 16 species of bats! Bats are a valuable and fascinating part of Georgia's natural heritage. They provide a beneficial service by foraging on flying insects, many of which are pests. A single bat can eat hundreds of mosquitoes in one hour. They also eat large numbers of moths and beetles that cause agricultural damage.

Bats will opportunistically roost and forage in altered habitats such as suburban and agricultural landscapes. A few species, however, have specific habitat needs, such as caves with suitable temperature and humidity, or large, hollow bottomland trees. Populations of these species are more vulnerable to habitat alterations and are of conservation concern. Other factors impacting bat populations include pesticides and water quality that impact aquatic-based food supplies, wind energy and as of the mid-2000s, a disease known as white-nose syndrome.

Bats and Viruses

The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 did not originate in bats in North America. Although the original source of the virus is unknown, some bat species in China are natural wildlife reservoirs for SARS-associated coronaviruses (SARS stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome). However, bats in the wild and undisturbed by people do not pose a health threat. For more about bats and viruses:

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