The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Be­hold. The Na­tional Park Ser­vice re­veals that the na­tion’s vast sys­tem of park­lands, forests, moun­tains and mead­ows are home “to a whop­ping 53 unique species of bats,” the fed­eral agency says. This is promis­ing news. In re­cent years, the lit­tle air­borne crit­ters have been in de­cline due to dis­ease and habi­tat loss. But things could be look­ing up for the likes of the Hawai­ian hoary bat, the ghost-faced bat and the Mex­i­can free­tailed bat — all on the species list.

“This is the first time we’ve had a com­plete view of all the bats in parks across the coun­try. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing be­cause we have so many bats to cel­e­brate. But it’s also sober­ing be­cause of the huge re­spon­si­bil­ity we have to try and keep all those bats in parks safe,” said Tom Rod­house, the ecologist who led the study and urges “strate­gic bat con­ser­va­tion” to keep ’em all fly­ing.

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