Q: How many roosts are there like this one?
A: This is unique. NCKRI Headquarters is the first building in the world with a bat roost as part of its design!
Q: How do bats help us?
A: Over 450 foods, materials, medicines, and other products come from plants that rely on bats for their survival.
Q: I’ve heard that bats eat a lot of bugs. Is that true?
A: Yes. These bats eat more than half their weight in moths and other flying insects every night. A March 2011 study found that bats save U.S. farmers between $3 billion and $53 billion every year in pesticides. Without bats, your food would be more expensive and contain more chemicals.
Q: Will I be able to look at the bats at NCKRI?
A: Yes and no. Once the NCKRI roost is occupied, we will ask people not to get under the roost. This will bother the bats and you won’t be able to see them very well, and they may poop on you! We are installing tiny cameras into the roost. Metal doors in the floor of our Bat Roost Office on the second floor of our building will open so that we can install cameras, microphones, and other probes into the roost without bothering the bats. You will be able to watch the bats on our website, and later in one of our new museum exhibits.
Q: But, what if a bat gets in my hair?
A: This is a common but unfortunate myth. Bats effortlessly flutter out of pitch black caves and through the dark of night to catch bugs as small as mosquitoes, and so they can easily avoid big objects like peoples’ heads!
Q: When will the bats move in?
A: We can’t be sure. One of our staff members is checking the roost every day. Sometimes it takes 2-5 years for bats to discover and regularly occupy a roost. We have been told that bats have been flying by and around the roost. We hope it won’t take long. Maybe we’ll get a maternity colony and see baby bats as they’re born.
Q: Wow, that sounds like fun. Can I get involved somehow?
A: We hope you will join NCKRI’s Adopt-A-Bat Program. Your donation will help us buy and maintain the equipment needed to study the bats. And, when we need bat volunteers to help with some exciting new bat research, you’ll be part of the first group we’ll call.