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Old 08-27-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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bat CA- Ranchers build escape ramps for bats and other wildlife

Ranchers build escape ramps for bats and other wildlife
Issue Date: August 26, 2009
By Steve Adler

Ranchers build escape ramps for bats and other wildlife
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While most of us are deep in slumber each night, a group of flyers is hard at work, tirelessly gobbling up airborne insects that target farmers' crops. These workers are, of course, bats.

"Bats are primary predators of night-flying insects that cost farmers and foresters billions of dollars annually," said bat expert Dan Taylor. "Birds are out there in the daytime eating insects, but a lot of the most voracious crop pests are night-flying insects. And the bats are the night shift. That's who is out there eating insects, helping control pest populations."
California has one of the most diverse populations of bats in the United States, boasting 22 different species that comprise more than half of the species found in the country.

"Wildlife escape ramps protect animals from the threat of drowning in the troughs. This is beneficial to ranchers in that water quality in these troughs is not jeopardized by dead animals contaminating the water source. On the down side, the ramps do take time to build and install and cost ranchers money," Koopman said.
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"The good news is that these escape ramps are catching on, and ranchers and wildlife managers are starting to pay more attention to this," Taylor said.

Most bat species need open water surfaces at least 10 feet long by no less than 2.5 feet wide.

It is important to maintain consistent water availability and full water levels, especially during maternity season and drought, he said. Maternity season for bats, when the mother bats are nursing their young, generally occurs from May through August.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:08 AM   #2
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