2011- celebrated as 'year of bats'

The year 2011 is being celebrated as 'year of forests', 'year of Chemistry' and also as 'year of Bats'.

We study in our school classes that bats are the only mammals which can fly. Some other mammals can just glide from heights to lower levels. Bats are present in almost all continents, except at the arctics. There are several species among them. Bats have the second position in the number of species diversity, rodents being in the first position.

Bats are serving the nature in different ways. Their life starts after the sun set. In day lights they hide in darker places, hanging heads down. Bats travel to distant places in search of food. They have a special power to locate (echo location) the fruits while they fly above trees. Through these travels they collect different fruits for food and leave the seeds in different places thereby helping the distribution of these fruit plants. Pollination also takes through them. Bats eat several pests and small creatures which are harmful to different crops cultivated by us.

There are around 1,100 species of bats around the world. In India so far 119 species have been identified. The number identified in Kerala is only 28. Among these one species, Latisens salimali, is under threat of extinction. Throughout the world there are other species which also face the threat of extinction. Their life is in trouble mainly because of man's interference in nature. This year is accepted as the year of bats just to highlight this issue.