Endangered Bats Have No Chance Against Patio Fans In Southern Arizona

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 10:06am

Some southern Arizona residents are waking up to find dead bats on their porches.

Normally, when the Arizona Game and Fish Department gets a call for dead bats found in groups, it suspects rabies.

But, Mark Hart with Game and Fish said that’s not what's wrong this time. Instead, it’s a case of a free meal and the unseen fan blade.

“This is a particular problem for an endangered species, called the ‘Lesser Long-nose bat,'” Hart said, after the majority of dozens found over the past weeks turned out to be the tiny species.

The yellowish-brown bat is migratory from Central America and the southwest deserts of the U.S.

“It comes up here to feed,” he said, mainly on cactus blossoms and other flowers. “It’s a pollinator, so it has a very natural, useful purpose.”

While the endangered Lesser Long-Nose helps crops and flowers, it has poor eyesight and finds itself drawn to the hummingbird feeders hanging on southwest patios.

“They’re getting taken out by fans,” Hart said.

At an average five ounces each, the tiny bat doesn’t have a chance.

Hart is urging home owners to help the little creature do its job by turning off the porch fans at night.

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