Bat sightings on the rise in southern Arizona

Bat sightings on the rise in southern Arizona
Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 8:07 AM MST|Updated: Jun. 28, 2023 at 8:59 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Summer’s here and the number of bat sightings in southern Arizona are on the rise. There are several months left to see them along the Rillito River, a popular spot for bat watching especially during the summer months.

Bats are an essential part of our ecosystem. There are nectar and insect feeding bat species migrating here from April through September. The nectar feeders are helpful in pollinating the saguaros and agave. The insect feeders help farmers keep unwanted pests away from crops.

“There’s just all this moisture and great opportunity to put lots of investment into flowers and pollen and just go for it and reproduction activity as possible if they did that and then their pollinators didn’t show up it would be a terrible waste from the plants point of view they work hand in hand,” says Jonathan Derbridge, Research scientist at UA’s school of Natural Resources & Environment.

The EMIGRA project base at the UA, funded by the National Science Foundation, works to understand the social and environmental systems of North American migratory species, to improve their management, and discover new approaches to the problems of complex interconnected systems.

Most of the bats migrating here are pregnant and by September, the new baby bats feed with their mothers, then travel back to Mexico. The best time to see the bats come out is just before sunset.

Experts say, there’s no need to be afraid, the closest the bats will get to you, may be at your bird feeder.

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