The Florida Bat Fund
Few people realize how important bats are to the environment and agriculture. They actually don’t eat a lot of mosquitoes, but they do eat many moths and other agricultural pests. It’s been estimated that bats save U. S. farmers an average of $20 billion/year in reduced crop damage and lower pesticide use. Florida has 13 species of bats considered native to the state, with another 7 species that appear here from time to time. One of our native species is the Florida Bonneted Bat, North America’s rarest and largest insect-eating bat. Perhaps fewer than 1,000 remain, and little is known about their diet, range, habitat preferences or social structure. We work to conserve all bats statewide, but are particularly focused on the bonneted bat, collaborating with FWC, USFWS, the University of Florida and Bat Conservation International to ensure this remarkable mammal’s lasting presence in South Florida.