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Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Without bats, world would be worse place

  • The little brown bat is common in Washington.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    The little brown bat is common in Washington.

Bats get a bad rap, so let's clear up some things:
• Vampire bats do not want to suck your blood.
• Some bats are actually cute.
• Bats help produce bananas.
Bat myths will be busted and bat facts will be revealed when the Bat Lady presents her bat program at the Northwest Stream Center on Friday.
Visitors will get to see some real bats and some cool photos of bats from around the world, along with some neat bat puppets.
The Bat Lady, Barbara Ogaard, rehabilitates injured bats for the Sarvey Wildlife Center and is a researcher for Bats Northwest.
Ogaard will tell us that bats are beneficial in many ways.
For instance, fruit bats pollinate banana trees, along with breadfruit, avocado, date, fig, peach and mango trees. In the tropics, bats spread seeds for trees that are essential for rain forests. In North America, bats are insect-eaters, such as the mouse-eared bat that can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in an hour.
The myth about vampire bats is just that, because they don't really care for human blood. In fact, vampire bat saliva is being used in the development of a new medicine for people with heart disease, according to press information about the program.
The event is conducted by the Adopt A Stream Foundation in partnership with the Snohomish County Parks and Recreation Department.
"The Bat Lady puts on quite a show," said Adopt A Stream Foundation director Tom Murdoch. "She has this unique ability to engage little kids and old gray beards at the same time."
The Bat Lady begins her presentation at 7 p.m. Friday at the NW Stream Center in McCollum Park, 600 128th St., SE, Everett. Register by calling 425-316-8592. Admission is $5 for Adopt A Stream Foundation members, $7 for nonmembers. Any visitor attending the program who comes in a Halloween costume will receive a free salmon poster.
Go to www.streamkeeper.org for more programs and information.
Story tags » NatureAnimalsWildlife WatchingHalloween

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