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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bats at Cruachan Aí

Environmental education and biodiversity conservation is very important to us at Cruachan Ai Heritage Centre, so we are delighted to present to you - pictures of our very own bats!

We have a colony of bats in our attic, who feed over the river and in the surrounding fields every evening. We often have to rescue the babies who get lost along the way!

Facts about Bats:
  • Bats are mammals. This means that they are covered in fur, they have warm blood, they give birth (rather than laying eggs) and they suckle their babies with milk.

  • There are over 1,000 species of bat worldwide, all in the Order Chiroptera. The greatest diversity of bat species is found in warm equatorial areas where there are fruit-, fish-, insect-, pollen- and even frog-eating types.

  • In Ireland we have nine species confirmed as residents, all of which belong to the bat Sub-order Microchiroptera. All of the Irish bat species consume only insects and the nine residents belong to two Families – the Vespertilionidae (with eight species) and the Rhinolophidae (with one species).

Suggestions for kids and parents to explore Bats further:

  1. Bat Art! Go to Bat Activities & Colouring

  2. Complete a Bat WebQuest. Adapt or follow the instructions found at - Bat Quest: In Search of Stellaluna by D. Von Feldt-Vo (Grades 2-3)

  3. Write some Bat poetry or stories. You can find some excellent writing help at Poetry Teachers and Chris Thompson's Website

  4. Build a Bat House. Bat populations are declining at an alarming level. Help preserve these important animals, enabling biodiversity conservation and environmental education by observing your own bats in their very own bat box! Start here - Build-a-Bat-Box

  5. Create a Bat Conservation Poster. Help save bats by creating an eye-catching poster that promotes the protection and better understanding of bats.

Let us know how you get on!

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