Agricultural pest control by bats in Madagascar

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The study found that native bat species preferred to feed around hillside farmland compared to forest due to the higher number of agricultural pest insects (© Pexels)

A new study has brought to light how native bat species in Madagascar are playing an important role in the control of agricultural crop pests. If more attention and information was brought to this, zoologists from the University of Cambridge believe that bats could reduce the financial strain on farmers for chemical pesticide use as well as the need to convert forests into fields. Continue reading

Why we should all be batty about agriculture

Image from Flickr, by Michael Pennay

Bats are perhaps one of the best kept secrets of agricultural success. As nocturnal fliers they are often ‘out of sight, out of mind’, but insectivorous bats (Chiroptera) provide us with a natural, eco-friendly, and free pest control solution, saving North America alone an estimated $3.7 billion every year. Good news then? Not so much for bats. Habitat loss and fragmentation, land-use change and disease (to name just a few) are all putting bat populations under pressure, and many are reaching breaking point.

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