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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: July 8, 2021 03:31 PM
From: Representative Kristine C. Howard
To: All House members
Subject: Bats protect our crops; let's protect them
Although the importance of bats may not be readily apparent to the average person, these flying marvels save the agricultural industry billions of dollars annually through the consumption of harmful insects. This is because a typical colony of 100 bats feeding for roughly 200 days has been estimated to consume more than 2,220 pounds of insects, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.  With fewer insects, less pesticide is necessary, not only bolstering our economy, but also our health and our environment.
However, in recent years, Pennsylvania’s bat populations have experienced a significant decline, which has been attributed to a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome. This disease causes bats to come out of hibernation prematurely and to burn through their fat reserves, thus starving them to death in the winter. In Pennsylvania, white-nose syndrome has caused the populations of the eastern small footed-bat, little brown bat, northern long-eared bat, and tri-colored bat to decrease by an estimated 99 percent.
Since bats provide such an important financial and ecological benefit to Pennsylvania, I plan on introducing a resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the current status and management of bat species in the Commonwealth, and to issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly.
Please join me in support of this effort to help conserve and protect Pennsylvania’s bat species.

Introduced as HR124