-  A species worth defending  (© Mario Cea Sanchez/Minden Pictures)

Some people are quick to dismiss bats as simply ‘scary,’ (and the association with Halloween doesn’t help). But on Bat Appreciation Month, consider their valuable contributions to the ecosystem. Bats around the world help to control bug populations (including agricultural pests), pollinate important plants, and disperse seeds – helping to regenerate lands that have been overharvested or damaged. In fact, the truly scary thing, is how much we’d miss bats if they were gone. In North America, a disease called White-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats since it was identified in 2006. It has yet to be identified in Australia, but scientists are working hard to find a way to help bats recover. One easy way to help bats near you is to build or buy a bat box for property, providing them with a safe space to roost.