header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 3
1855 - Ship leaves New York harbor bound for Tunis to acquire animals for the United States Camel Corps [story]
Camel Corps

Take a Hike | Commentary by Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel
| Sunday, Aug 10, 2014

DianneErskineHellrigelOf all the animals on our Earth, bats are probably the most misunderstood. There are more myths about bats than any other animal. Uninformed people will tell you bats are all bloodsuckers and hunt humans at night, flying into your hair and attacking in groups, and all of them have rabies.

This is not so. They are gentle, intelligent creatures, and despite their reputation of being evil bloodsuckers, bats are eco-friendly creatures.

Bats can carry rabies. If you see a bat during the day, flopping around on the ground, dead or alive, anywhere on your property, please call animal control. Do not touch it. Do not let your animals touch it. It most probably has rabies. There have been 21 rabid bats in Los Angeles County so far this year, with 11 of them being in the Santa Clarita Valley. The most important thing to remember is to avoid contact with sick bats.

Bats are mammals. They are the only mammals capable of sustained flight. Most eat insects and fruit-nectar-pollen, while only a few species (none in Santa Clarita) feed on animals and the blood of animals.

Those that eat insects are especially important to our ecosystem because they reduce the need for insecticides. You might see them in spring and summer at dusk flying in dipping, U-shaped patterns above you. They are swooping up and down to catch insects. Many of these insects, such as mosquitoes, are disease carriers. So think of bats as saving you from West Nile virus, malaria and other vector-borne diseases. Bats use echolocation to hunt. This means that they use sound waves to navigate and to identify flying insects.

Bats are present throughout the world. In addition to keeping the insect population down, they pollinate flowers, disperse fruit seeds and provide rich guano that people use for fertilizer. Microorganisms in bat guano are being studied, as they might have substantial medical uses for humans.

Bats pollinate trees, flowers and cacti. They pollinate avocados, bananas, breadfruit, dates, figs, mangoes and peaches. They eat half their weight in insects per night – and there are millions in each colony, so you can see that without bats, we’d be overrun with insects. Bats are useful creatures and deserve your respect.


a_BatDrawingBAT FACTS


Life span: Average 5 years, up to 30 years

Gestation: 40 days to 10 months, depending on species and food availability

Number of young at birth: Usually 1 per year, some species have 2 or 3

Wingspan: Largest – flying fox Pteropus sp., up to 6 feet (1.8 meters)

Wingspan: Smallest – Kitti’s hog-nosed bat Craseonycteridae thonglongyai, less than 6 inches (15.2 centimeters)

Weight: Heaviest – flying fox, 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms)

Weight: Lightest – Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, 0.07 ounces (2 grams)

Weight at birth: 0.008 to 13 ounces (0.22 grams to 370 grams), depending on species


Throughout the world, there are 1,300 species of bats, with more than 20 percent of the world’s bats living in Africa. Many of these species are endangered or rare. The Department of Fish and Wildlife monitors these species of concern.

Here is a listing of bats that occur in California:


big_brown_batOrder: Chiroptera Family: Phyllostomidae

4 species of leaf-nosed bats occur in California.

* Mexican Long-tongued Bat, Choeronycteris mexicana (CDFG special concern)

* Southern Long-nosed Bat, Leptonycteris curasoae

* Lesser Long-nosed Bat, Leptonycteris yerbabuenae

* California Leaf-nosed Bat, Macrotus californicus (CDFG special concern)


Order: Chiroptera Family: Vespertilionidae

19 species of vesper bats occur in California.

* Pallid Bat, Antrozous pallidus (CDFG special concern)

* Silver-haired Bat, Lasionycteris noctivagans

* California Myotis, Myotis californicus

* Western Small-footed Myotis, Myotis ciliolabrum

* Long-eared Myotis, Myotis evotis

* Little Brown Myotis, Myotis lucifugus

* Arizona Myotis, Myotis occultus (CDFG special concern)

* Fringed Myotis, Myotis thysanodes

* Cave Myotis, Myotis velifer (CDFG special concern)

* Long-legged Myotis, Myotis volans

* Yuma Myotis, Myotis yumanensis

* Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Corynorhinus townsendii (formerly Plecotus townsendii; CDFG special concern)

Pale Big-eared Bat – C. townsendii pallescens (CDFG special concern)

* Big Brown Bat, Eptesicus fuscus

* Spotted Bat, Euderma maculatum (CDFG special concern)

* Allen’s Big-eared Bat, Idionycteris phyllotis

* Western Red Bat, Lasiurus blossevillii

* Hoary Bat, Lasiurus cinereus

* Western Yellow Bat, Lasiurus xanthinus

* Western Pipistrelle, Parastrellus hesperus


Order: Chiroptera Family: Molossidae

4 species of free-tailed bats occur in California.

* Western Mastiff Bat, Eumops perotis

California Mastiff Bat, E. perotis californicus (CDFG special concern)

* Pocketed Free-tailed Bat, Nyctinomops femorosaccus (CDFG special concern)

* Big Free-tailed Bat, Nyctinomops macrotis (CDFG special concern)

* Brazilian (or Mexican) Free-tailed Bat, Tadarida brasiliensis



Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel is executive director of the Community Hiking Club and president of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy. If you’d like to be part of the solution, join the Community Hiking Club’s Stewardship Committee. Contact Dianne through communityhikingclub.org or at zuliebear@aol.com.



Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Friday, Jun 2, 2023
By now you have no doubt heard about the waste hauler transition coming to the city of Santa Clarita. Beginning July 1, all residents in our city will begin the process of switching over to Burrtec Waste Industries for their trash service.
Thursday, Jun 1, 2023
Can you believe it's already June? May was a whirlwind of excitement, laughter and a few mischievous moments.
Thursday, Jun 1, 2023
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Since the days of Noah some people have been particularly drawn to owning exotic animals. While Noah was ordered to amass his collection to save animals from a flood, these days people obtain unusual pets for different reasons. Some are attracted to the animals’ appearances, others to the novelty and attention they receive for having them as pets.
Monday, May 15, 2023
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has issued a statement in response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for fiscal year 2023–24.
Friday, May 12, 2023
Each year, the city of Santa Clarita welcomes the month of May as Bike Month, offering our residents a wide variety of activities, free events and opportunities to keep you healthy and safe. With the mountains and hills covered in green, this is the best time to take the family out onto our trails and paseos and enjoy the natural beauty of Santa Clarita.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1855 - Ship leaves New York harbor bound for Tunis to acquire animals for the United States Camel Corps [story]
Camel Corps
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will meet on Thursday, June 8 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 23920 Valencia Blvd. First Floor,  Santa Clarita, CA 91355.
June 8: Arts Commission Meets to Review Master Plan, Public Art
Raising the Curtain Foundation, through their Grand Ovation program, honored Jim Sudik and Paco Vela on Thursday, June 1 by naming the dressing rooms at the Newhall Family Theatre for the Performing Arts after the duo.
Sudik, Vela Honored by Raising the Curtain Foundation
The Santa Clarita Library's annual Summer Reading challenge will kick off on June 12. The event, sponsored by Friends of the Santa Clarita Public Library, will boast the theme "Find Your Voice!"
June 12: Summer Reading Program Kicks Off
Join instructor Katie Pinto at Bouquet Canyon Park on Tuesday, June 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for a fun and interactive Hula Hoop class for adults and seniors.
June 20: Hula Hoop Yoga at Bouquet Canyon Park
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission will meet June 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 23920 Valencia Blvd. First Floor, Santa Clarita, CA 91355.
June 6: Planning Commission Hearings on Soccer Field, Warehouse
City Cinemas in the Park will screen the film "The Little Rascals" on June 23 at 8:30 p.m. The film will be shown in Newhall Park, 24923 Newhall Ave., Santa Clarita, CA 91355.
June 23: ‘The Little Rascals’ Film at Newhall Park
The city of Santa Clarita is seeking artwork for an upcoming exhibit located in the First Floor Gallery of City Hall. This art exhibition is seeking artwork depicting the theme of "Pop Culture."
Call for Artists for Theme of Pop Culture
By now you have no doubt heard about the waste hauler transition coming to the city of Santa Clarita. Beginning July 1, all residents in our city will begin the process of switching over to Burrtec Waste Industries for their trash service.
Ken Striplin | Let’s Talk Trash!
California State Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo (D-Chatsworth) successfully passed eight bills off the Assembly Floor, bringing her total number of bills now in the Senate to 11. Notably, more than half of her bills received bipartisan support.
Schiavo’s 11 Bills Advance Off Assembly Floor, Head to Senate
In collaboration with the Saugus Unified School District, the city of Santa Clarita is excited to announce playground construction plans for Northbridge Park. The project aims to provide recreational space for Charles Helmers Elementary School students and the surrounding Northbridge community. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer.
Northbridge Park Playground Enhancements
1945 - Local residents vote 432-2 to approve $300,000 bond measure to build SCV's first high school [story]
Hart High
The Salvation Army Santa Clarita Corps is excited to welcome the community to a free open house on Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at their local headquarters at 22935 Lyons Avenue.
June 3: Salvation Army Santa Clarita Corps Open House
California State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, issued the following statement Thursday regarding the decision by the State Water Resources Control Board to re-notice CEMEX’s application for a water right permit.
Wilk Releases Statement on CEMEX Permit Re-Notice
RICK Engineering Company, a multidisciplinary planning, design and engineering firm serving the western United States, has opened its 11th office in Santa Clarita.
RICK Engineering Takes Expansion to Santa Clarita
Can you believe it's already June? May was a whirlwind of excitement, laughter and a few mischievous moments.
Message from JCI Santa Clarita President Cindy Curtis
The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center Spotlight Series will feature an eclectic lineup of talented musicians and performers, as well as family-friendly programs as part of its Fall 2023 programming.
PAC Releases 2023 Fall Spotlight Series Lineup
Beginning Saturday, June 3, residents can once again board Santa Clarita Transit’s Summer Beach Bus to travel to Ventura Harbor on Saturdays and Sundays.
Santa Clarita Summer Beach Bus Returns June 3
For 25 years, one of the biggest hurdles standing between Daniel Andrade and a college degree was his math anxiety.
Veteran Earns COC Degree Despite Years of Struggle
Adding a powerful local voice to policies and decisions that directly affect residents, Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Marsha McLean has been tapped for leadership roles with the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments and Southern California Association of Governments.
McLean Tapped for Regional Leadership Roles
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, in partnership with the Association of California Water Agencies, is proud to announce that the first Edward G. “Jerry” Gladbach Scholarship has been awarded to Elizabeth Peña.
SCV Water Announces Gladbach Scholarship Recipient
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 50 new cases and one new death from COVID-19 in the Santa Clarita Valley within the last week.
Weekly COVID-19 Roundup: Public Health Updates Response Plan
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted Thursday a Progress Pride Flag Raising Ceremony and reception at the California Department of Education to mark the first day of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month.
Pride Flag Flies for First Time at CDE Headquarters
%d bloggers like this: