Most mammals are rodents and bats, and yet the diversity of mammals is astounding. Kansas hosts famous Great Plains species, including some large mammals that are finally making a comeback after being decimated by human expansion.
A Pocket Guide to Kansas Mammals
A Pocket Guide to Kansas Threatened and Endangered Species
Bats: Order Chiroptera
Bats, our second-largest group of mammals, are the only true flying vertebrates alive today besides birds. Myths and misconceptions stoke our fear of bats, but they're an important part of the ecosystem.
Only a small percentage of bats carry rabies, but they can carry it. Never handle wildlife, including bats, and avoid direct contact with them. Consult with medical professionals if someone you know may have been exposed to a bat.
Their free pest control services are worth up to $53 billion each year.
Bats eat up to two-thirds their body weight in insects each night, removing thousands of insects from agricultural areas and human residences.
Build a bat house, and keep your cat inside. Bat houses aren't as effective in Kansas as they are in other states but can still attract bats to your neighborhood. Some of our common bats, like Eastern Red Bats, prefer roosting in trees.
This deadly invasive bat disease is a fungus that attacks hibernating bats. It was introduced from Europe, so American bats have not developed defenses against it. It was officially documented in Kansas in 2018 and is still spreading across the United States.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bat's aren't blind.
They see as well as any other mammal, even without their sonar.