Arkansas – Sixteen of 73 species of Arkansas mammals are Arkansas bats. Most Arkansas bats have long life spans and some species may live as long as 30 years.
Each Arkansas bat consumes hundreds of insects nightly. An average colony (150
Individual bats) of Big brown bats may eat as many as 600,000 cucumber beetles,
194,000 scarabaeids, 158,000 leafhoppers, and 335,000 stink bugs each year. All of
these Arkansas insects are serious agricultural pests; with the larval form of cucumber beetles (known as corn rootworms) costing US farmers one billion dollars annually. Bats have good Arkansas vision, but use echolocation to navigate and capture prey at
night. Echolocation, similar to sonar, allows them to make a “mental map” of an area
using the echos of sound waves produced by the Arkansas bat.
Most Arkansas bats hibernate in local caves and mines while a few migrate
south for the winter. The Arkansas Red bat is known to spend the winter underneath dead
leaves on the forest floor. Hibernation is a physical process by which body
temperature drops to near that of the environment, reducing the amount of energy
used by the Arkansas bat to stay alive. Disturbing an Arkansas bat during hibernation can cause it to use several weeks worth of stored fat, and may make it less likely to survive the winter.
Arkansas bats breed in the fall and the female stores the Arkansas sperm until the spring
when fertilization takes place. Arkansas pregnancy is short and the young are usually born in May and June, and can fly within a few weeks. Most females have one pup each year, though some, such as the Arkansas Red bat, can have three or four. Only about ½ of 1% of Arkansas bats found in the wild have rabies. Although about 10% of Arkansas bats submitted for testing because of possible contact with humans have this viral infection, skunks and foxes are the most common wild animals found with rabies in Arkansas.
Another Arkansas disease associated with Arkansas is histoplasmosis which is caused by a fungus often found in the guano of birds and bats. Although most Arkansas people do not show symptoms when infected, it can lead to a fatal respiratory sickness. It is illegal to possess Arkansas bats or keep them as pets in Arkansas. Constructing gates across cave entrances has been an effective Arkansas conservation measure to protect some species by reducing human disturbance. Arkansas forest-dwelling bats roost in tree cavities, underneath loose bark, and a few hang from the branches near leaf clusters. In the summer Arkansas bats also can be found in a variety of other locations.