Note: If you find a baby bat, call 908-200-1040 – Jackie or 732-429-3214 – Laura – immediately.
Nestled in the bucolic county of Hunterdon along the Delaware River, among horse farms and scenic country roads, is New Jersey Bat Sanctuary. One of the main purposes of NJBats is to provide rescue and rehabilitation of New Jersey’s nine bat species. other important goals are to protect wild bats and colonies from abuse and destruction, as well as increasing public awareness about the benefits bats provide to the environment.
NJBats’s director, Jackie Kashmer, became a wildlife rehabilitator 20 years ago, rehabbing small mammals and songbirds. Six years ago she began to concentrate solely on bats. A baby bat the size of a thumbnail could easily miss a feeding that would not be recognized by a volunteer at a large rehab center and its health would decline rapidly before being noticed. Since bats play such a vital role in the health of our environment, their care cannot be taken lightly.
Another major focus of NJBats is education. If we lose the habitats necessary for bats’ survival and reproduction, all our rehabbing efforts will be for naught. It is imperative that we continually remind the public that hibernating caves need to be protected, pesticides need to be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives, and land development needs to be managed in a way that encourages our wildlife to thrive.
An area populated by bats indicates a healthy environment; thus, bats should be encouraged to live in our neighborhoods by the installation of bat houses. Since bats are nocturnal and feed at night, the benefit of their insect control is not appreciated. They consume 1/2 of their body weight in 24 hours. Imagine eating 65-75 lbs. of food a day!!!New Jersey is a very unique state consisting of beaches, mountains, farms, rolling hills, etc. We’re very fortunate to have such a diverse landscape.
Bats in no small way are our biggest pest control friends. If we don’t protect them and their environment, the Garden State will eventually give way to the barren state. Enjoying the wonderful outdoors, something we all take for granted, will no longer be the pleasure it is.for more information on NJBats, contact Jackie Kashmer @ (908) 229-6496 or jk@NJBats.org