This workshop is approved by CalAnimals for 4 CE hours for California Animal Control officers. This program introduces animal care and animal services professionals to the most unique and misunderstood animals on the planet – bats. As humans expand their footprint on the landscape, bats come into contact with the public with increasing frequency. Animal Services agencies, shelters, veterinary clinics, and nuisance wildlife control operators need to be properly educated and equipped to handle these animals safely, and to provide accurate information to the public about them. Topics include basic information about bats and their role in the environment, public health and safety issues, rabies, safe capture and handling, eviction and exclusion of bats in human-occupied structures, and White Nose Syndrome.
Worldwide, there are estimated to be approximately 1,400 unique species of bats. This means that roughly one-fourth of all mammal species on Earth are bats – and this underscores the critical role that bats play in the environment. Of the 1,400-plus species of bats, 45 are native to the Continental United States; 27 can be found within California’s borders. California has a wide variety of biomes, from mountains and high desert to old-growth forest to the coastline of the Pacific in the west. We experience all four seasons, with cold winters and snow in some parts of California, mild spring and fall, and hot summers. The geographic size of the state, and the wide variety of climate and habitat availability makes California an ideal place for bats to call home.