Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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The Value of Bats

... is now expressed in dollars, for the enlightenment of people who can't comprehend other types of value well enough to act on them.  Insectivorous bats help with pest control, to the tune of $3 billion to $54 billion per year.  So far only one study has been done to calculate their economic impact, in Texas; more are needed.  We also need to protect bats from threats, such as White Nose Syndrome.

Regrettably they didn't crunch the numbers to produce the most useful one: an estimated value per bat.  Someone did that with bees once, when trying to convince farmers not to spray all the bees to death.  The campaign included the memorable line, "Whenever you see a bee, just think of her as a little $20 bill flying by."  That helped.

Don't think plummeting bat populations are your problem?  Bats eat insects including the mosquitoes that spread all those lovely tropical diseases that are spreading north, such as West Nile virus.  Fewer bats mean more mosquitoes and a higher chance of getting bitten.
Tags: nature, news, wildlife

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