Georgia is home to 16 species of bats! Bats are a valuable and fascinating part of Georgia's natural heritage. They provide a beneficial service by foraging on flying insects, many of which are pests. A single bat can eat hundreds of mosquitoes in one hour. They also eat large numbers of moths and beetles that cause agricultural damage.
Bats will opportunistically roost and forage in altered habitats such as suburban and agricultural landscapes. A few species, however, have specific habitat needs, such as caves with suitable temperature and humidity, or large, hollow bottomland trees. Populations of these species are more vulnerable to habitat alterations and are of conservation concern. Other factors impacting bat populations include pesticides and water quality that impact aquatic-based food supplies, wind energy and as of the mid-2000s, a disease known as white-nose syndrome.
This app allows citizen scientists to report sighting bats found within bridges and other Georgia Department of Transportation structures. Users create a free EDDMapS account and help Georgia Department of Natural Resources protect these important species.