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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 20, 2019 02:29 PM
From: Representative Jennifer O'Mara
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Designating the Week of October 25 through 31, 2019, as "Bat Protection and Awareness Week" in Pennsylvania
Although some mammals are able to glide, bats are the only mammals that are truly able to fly. Bats are so unique that they belong to their own order of mammals known as Chiropteran, meaning “hand-winged.” Pennsylvania is home to nine different species of bats, all of which feed on insects and can consume 25 percent or more of their body weight during a single feeding. While the large-scale ecological importance of bats may not be apparent, the United States Geological Survey estimates that bats save the agriculture industry billions of dollars annually through the consumption of harmful insects.

Pennsylvania has experienced a significant decline in populations of certain bat species in recent years due to the disease known as White-Nose Syndrome. Since it was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2008, White-Nose Syndrome has been confirmed in 23 counties and is suspected in seven others. According to studies conducted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, there has been about a 99 percent decrease in the Northern Long-Eared Bat, Tri-Colored Bat, and Little Brown Bat populations. The loss of these species could have an enormous impact on the Commonwealth and a devastating effect on our economy. As such, it is vital that Pennsylvanians recognize the importance of bats and develop measures to conserve and protect these amazing creatures. Therefore, I plan to introduce a resolution designating the week of October 25 through 31, 2019, as “Bat Protection and Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important measure.