Is Halloween Good or Bad for Bats?

102610_batty_for_batsA press release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was titled, “Halloween Tradition Gives Bats a Bad Rap.”

True, all my Halloween decorations depict vampire bats flitting over bare trees, which shows a shocking disregard for true nature of vampire bat habitat. (Can you hear the geeky tongue-in-cheek in that sentence? Good.)

But is Halloween actually bad for bat conservation? As a wildlife conservation writer, I can tell you that my editors are always happy to have a bat story on Halloween, even when they may not be interested the rest of the year. I haven’t had the editor yet who is cheesy enough to require spookiness in that Halloween bat story.

Many state wildlife departments take advantage of the holiday link by sending out press releases debunking myths (as the California release did, when you get down to it) or just celebrate bats. Take, for example, this press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Given the popularity of zombies these days, being affiliated with the creepiness of Halloween could be giving bats some street cred. What do you think?

Photo: Who says bats aren’t cute? Art from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Batty for Bats! program.


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