WAPPAPELLO — Several endangered and rarely seen species of bats have turned up in a three-night survey of the bat population on public lands in southeast Missouri.
About 80 people ranging from professional biologists to students and amateurs participated in the "Bat Blitz" earlier this month. The census was organized by the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network. More than 600 bats were captured in nets, then let go.
Among the bats were two endangered species, the gray bat and the Indiana bat. The survey also found southeastern and Rafinesque big-eared bats — species seldom seen in Missouri in the last two decades.
Experts say bats are beneficial because they devour huge amounts of pests. One expert says a brown bat can eat up to 7,000 mosquitoes in a single night.