Utah bats are the most maligned and misunderstood of all mammals in the entire state.
Utah bats have this negative misconception that is surrounding Utah bats despite the fact that most people know them only as mysterious fluttering objects observed at dusk on summer evenings. Utah Mysteries aside, Utah bats are fairly innocuous to humans. Utah bats don’t attack people to entangle themselves in their hair; they really aren’t interested in Utah people at all. As Utah mammals, they have hair, regulate their body temperatures internally, and nurse their Utah young. Utah bats are the only mammals that fly, and although they have eyes and see very well, they also have the ability to navigate in the absence of sufficient light by using sonar. This sensory system is known as Utah echolocation. It is this constant reaction to incoming Utah echoes that makes a bat in flight appear to stutter or falter, when in reality Utah bats are superb fliers.
At latest count, there are 925 bat species worldwide, 44 species in North America, and 18 Utah species that reside in Utah. All 18 of Utah’s bats eat insects. In fact, these Utah bats are perhaps the most significant predators of night flying insects, giving them an important function in the ecosystem. During the day some Utah bats roost in caverns such as caves and Utah abandoned mines, while others prefer to roost in crevices and hollows of trees. Recent bat research indicates that numbers of some bat species in Utah may be declining, most likely from the loss of their Utah natural roosting habitat. In light of this information, it is important to note that timber harvesting practices and abandoned Utah mine closures can be undertaken in ways that benefit Utah bats. Old and dead trees can be spared on logged sites to allow them to be used as bat roosts, and abandoned mines can be gated to keep people out while allowing Utah bat continued access.