AZGFD: Porch ceiling fans a hazard to bats that use hummingbird feeders

Updated: Sep. 18, 2017 at 5:05 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Arizona Game and Fish Department is advising homeowners with outdoor porch ceiling fans and hummingbird feeders, to turn off the fans at night, as they may be killing or injuring migratory bats.

According to a news release from AZGFD, ten bats in the last month have been killed or injured when struck by ceiling fan blades, while seeking out those feeders.

"You may have noticed in recent months that your hummingbird feeders are being drained overnight," said Game and Fish Urban Wildlife Specialist Locana de Souza, in the news release.  "Lesser long-nosed bats are currently in this region, primarily for the nectar from flowering agaves.  They are also common visitors at hummingbird feeders."

The lesser long-nosed bat is one of only two nectar-feeding bats in Arizona.  Of 28 species of bats found in the state, it is the only one that is listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

"We are asking people with nectar feeders on their porches to make sure they turn off their outdoor ceiling fans when they are not in use," said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish, in the same release.  "The pollinating bats will soon migrate south, only to return to Arizona in April or May when organ pipe and saguaro cacti are blooming."

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