The juxtaposition of a wild animal in a strictly-human space fascinates me. At the time of this illustration, a bat flew into my office, which used to be an old ice warehouse. While I was witness to adult men running and ducking, I honestly couldn’t help but to think of how scared the bat must have been itself – bouncing off the walls, swooping, and then finding the tiniest of holes to hide in. The bat was carefully captured and released from our roof. These creatures are always assumed to be rabid or gross, so we shudder and want to get rid of it. Perhaps we should question how it ended up in our environment in the first place.

While bats make up a quarter of all mammals on Earth, the populations of many bat species are dangerously low.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species – more than 200 species of bats are listed as endangered, threatened or vulnerable – with note to the increasing disturbance to their habitats and food supply. Bats are one of the most interesting creatures we have on Earth. How many other lifeforms have a superhero inspired by them?
A few things I learned about bats while illustrating this pattern:

  • They are the only mammal capable of true flight.
  • Two thirds of bat species consume insects, which means they are a large part of natural pest control.
  • The largest bat has a 6 foot wingspan.
  • The smallest bat is no more than 1 inch long.

To find out more about how to help the world’s endangered and threatened owls, please visit Save Our Species and the National Wildlife Federation. For more facts about bats, visit Defenders of Wildlife. For more information about the decline of bat populations worldwide, visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.