Just in time for Halloween... it's Bat Week in New York. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently shared expert advice on how we can not only help our furry and flappy friends, but avoid criminal prosecution as well by sticking to this one simple rule.

New York State DEC via dec.ny.gov/
Little Brown Bats... yes that's their actual name! (New York State DEC via dec.ny.gov)

Bat Week in New York

"With Halloween on people's minds, DEC is urging outdoor adventurers to protect New York's bats", said Commissioner Basil Seggos. The last decade has been tough for certain bat populations in our area, and while some numbers are finally showing positive signs of improvement, humans have a huge say in whether or not they'll continue to recover. Here's what the DEC is recommending to not only lend a helping hand, but to stay on the right side of the law.

Hibernating Bats (New York State DEC via dec.ny.gov)
Hibernating Bats (New York State DEC via dec.ny.gov)

Threatened Bats in New York

Bats, like many other animals in New York, enter a hibernation period during the cold winter months, and it's imperative that they aren't woken up. From the DEC:

If bats are disturbed during hibernation, they raise their body temperature, depleting crucial fat reserves. This stored fat is the only source of energy available to the bats until the weather warms in spring and insects become readily available

That's why the DEC is recommending that all New York residents resist cave and mine exploration until spring returns. For some more critically threatened bat species in the state, like the northern long-eared bat, entering a hibernation site between October and the end of April is illegal, and could be prosecuted.

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