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Friday, September 20, 2013

Suggested Reading: Extinction of the Pipistrelle

As you may already know, I have a soft spot for bats. A really big soft spot, actually. I’ve been a bat advocate since I was kid, I managed to become a finalist for a big scholarship at my college with an essay about bats, and Viridorari’s first animal of the month was the golden-capped fruit bat.

            Most people see bats as a symbol of Halloween and creepy things, but many don’t know what an important roll they play in our global ecosystem, and in particular, our agriculture. Insect-eating bats are crucial for controlling pest populations that would otherwise demolish our fields. Fruit-eating bats are essential for pollinating fruit plants, much like bees. 

            I was very saddened to learn that recently, the Pipistrelle bat went extinct. They used to live on Australia’s Christmas Island, but now these tiny, adorable bats with the coolest name ever are gone for good. The Australian government failed to offer aid to scientists and the dying species until it was too late. The loss of any species is a terrible thing, especially when the cause of their death was caused by human related activities. Why is it that we think it’s okay to do as we please on this planet, without any regard to the other life forms that live here?

              For this week’s Suggested Reading, I want to provide an article about the Pipistrelle’s extinction, written by Tim Flannery, an Australian native who tried to save the species. He provides an insight to the onslaught of extinction in Australia and the failure of the government to respond. It’s a heartfelt and inspiring lament to the deceased species. 

            Also, as supplemental reading, I am providing an article by Danielle Brigida about why bats are important, entitled “7 Reasons Bats are Just as Cool as Batman.” 

            You can find the Pipistrelle article here.
            And “7 Reasons Bats are Just as Cool as Batman” here.

            Please consider supporting Viridorari’s Animals of the Month, so they don’t meet the same fate as the Pipistrelle. Also, follow @extinctsymbol on Twitter to keep up to date on endangered and instinct animals and what you can do to help and protect them.

Animal of the Month Update
Two tigers spooning at the GW Interactive Zoo in Oklahoma
Picture taken by me

            Tigers are carnivorous, or meat-eaters, and they mostly hunt at night. They stalk their prey silently and sneak up on them, using their stripes for camouflage. Tigers are very defensive of their kills, and will often carry them up a tree to eat or swim across a body of water to avoid having it stolen by another predator.

            There are several ways that tigers communicate. They have scent glands on their tails and between their toes, and they use their scents for recognition purposes and for attracting mates to an area. Roaring can be used to find mates or to warn trespassers on an individual’s territory. It is believed that a roar can be heard from two miles away, due to their keen sense of hearing. Mother tigers moan to their cubs to coax them into trying new things. Snarls are used to communicate dangers and warnings. Just like domestic Fluffy at home, tigers purr to show contentment.

This tiger is communicating that it feels threatened.


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