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The Bat Condominium
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  1. The Bat Condominium The Bat Condominium before you was built in the fall of 2003 and is intended to serve as a residence for up to 6000 female bats and their young. The obvious question for many would be why bats? The answer is simple. In the United States six species of bats are listed as endangered and many others are declining in numbers. This said, bats are considered to be the most endangered land mammal in North America. Population decline is a consequence of pesticide use, habitat loss, killing (because of myths), and disturbance of maternal colonies. If nursing mothers are panicked they may drop their young and if these are unable to fly they will fall to their deaths. Bats are mammals, and despite what we see on television and in the movies reproduce slowly for their size. Most species giving birth to only one pup per year, but others do give birth to three or four. A unique aspect of our bat condominium, and one which distinguishes it from others, is that Slippery Rock University used locally grown, locally milled timber and lumber that is “Smartwood” certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. It is essentially a “green” building, supporting local industry and sustainable forest management in the region. Further, the environmentally safe bat condominium contains no glue, formaldehyde, or unhealthy materials for the bats – it is energy efficient and does not use or produce chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Common Bat Truths and Myths - Bats account for approximately one-quarter of all mammal species and except for polar regions and extreme deserts occur worldwide. - Of the 1000+ species of bats known worldwide only three are of the vampire type but these do not attack humans! - Approximately 70% of the bat species worldwide eat insects, the other 30% eat fruit, pollen, and nectar. - Bats are not rodents but are the only flying mammals in the world. - Bats are not blind! - Bats are careful groomers and are among the cleanest of animals and are exceptionally resistant to disease – less than 0.5% of all bats contract rabies. - Some bat species can live up to 34 years. Although some individuals may voice concern as to whether or not bats are compatible with the campus environment because of their reputation as pests, bats do provide a natural alternative to chemical pest control agents. Most species of bats in the United States feed on insects by either capturing them in their mouths or by scooping them into their tail or wing membrane. Approximately 600 to 1000 mosquitoes and other insects are consumed per bat each hour during nighttime feeding.