Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a 6th grade student and Save Lucy volunteer.
Why is turning off the lights so important to bats? All bats are nocturnal. They sleep in dark spaces during the day and come out at night to feed. Nocturnal animals need a dark night in order to survive.
Bats have evolved to have night vision. This helps them find food at night and might help them see predators better. A lot of studies have been done, and scientists think that bats don’t see well in the light. One study showed that bats seem to get confused when there is a lot of light and start bumping into things. This probably means that bats don’t only rely on echolocation to figure out where they are going. They probably also rely on their eyesight, which is specialized for the night.
Most bats wait until it is dark outside to come out of their roosts to hunt. Some studies have shown that some bats will avoid well lit areas when they come out of their roosts. These bats might wait until it is darker later at night to come out and return to their roosts sooner when manmade lights are turned on in the morning. This means that they might have less time to eat. This might cause a problem for bat babies because their mothers may not get enough food to eat. If a baby bat is undernourished it might not develop properly or it might not survive the winter because it won’t have enough fat reserves during hibernation.
It’s obvious that bats need darkness to survive. If people would turn off lights that aren’t needed, it would help bats a lot. People should turn off their porch lights when they go to bed for the night. They won’t be using the light, and nocturnal animals really don’t need the light to see. Turning off the lights saves electricity, which saves money. You could save money and save bats at the same time! So… TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!!!!!