Target: British Prime Minister, David Cameron
Goal: Help preserve declining population of grey long-eared bats
In Britain, the heavy loss of many acres of lowland meadows and marshlands has led to an extreme decline in the population of grey long-eared bats that depend on these types of habitats for survival. The grey long-eared bat is considered to be one of Britain’s most rare species of mammal with only an estimated 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild. According to the Bat Conservation Trust, the future of these animals is “questionable” at best, and members of the organization have expressed grave concern for this extremely endangered species.
Over time, changes in land use have led to the destruction of the grey long-eared bat’s main habitat. Lowland meadows and marshlands have been replaced with human development and infrastructure. In addition, the country’s farmlands have steadily changed as farming practices have modernized. In the past, grey long-eared bats would feed upon insects and other pests drawn to crops, and would commonly roost in barns as a substitute for caves. However, as farmers in these areas tore down barns in order to allow room for more crops and began storing crops off-site, the grey long-eared bat was left without a place to roost. This was especially detrimental, as these bats depend on safe roosting places to spend the winter and raise their young.
The future of this species is grim. Despite strict legal protections for bats in the UK, including making it illegal to touch or harm a bat, the grey long-eared bat simply cannot survive if its habitat is destroyed. According to bat researcher Dr. Orly Razgour, the “grey long-eared bats need greater conservation efforts before [they are lost].”
Ask Britain’s Prime Minister to focus efforts on protecting this valuable species, not only for the benefit these animals provide to farmers by helping control pests, but for their intrinsic value as a species as well.
Dear Prime Minister David Cameron,
Britain’s grey long-eared bat is considered to be the UK’s most endangered mammalian species. Extreme loss of habitat, including the steady destruction of Britain’s lowland meadows and marshlands, has led to the species’ decline. Furthermore, changes in farming practices, such as the removal of barns to make way for more crops, has meant the loss of roosting sites for grey long-eared bats. Without these sites, female bats are left without a place to raise their young.
The grey long-eared bat provides a benefit to farmers in that they help control pests, as insects are their primary food source. In addition, they provide an intrinsic value in terms of being an essential element of Britain’s biodiversity.
I ask that you place a serious and immediate emphasis on protecting the grey long-eared bat by ensuring the preservation of their habitat. By focusing on protecting lowland meadows, marshlands and farmlands, you will help to save one of Britain’s few remaining species of bat.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Username Barracuda1983 via Wikimedia Commons