There are nearly 1,000 species of bats, which together account for almost a quarter of all mammal species.
* Tropical bats play key roles in rain-forest ecosystems, which rely on the bats to pollinate flowers and disperse seeds.
* Bats are the slowest-reproducing mammals on Earth for their size; most produce only one offspring a year.
* Vampire bats adopt orphans and have been known to risk their lives to share food with less fortunate roost-mates.
--Source: Bat Conservation International Inc.
GIFTS AND BOOKS
These are available through Bat Conservation International:
* "Bats: A Creativity Book for Young Conservationists," by Jane F. G. Jennings. Offers interesting information about bats and 28 activities that apply writing and math skills. $3.95.
* "Bats: Creatures of the Night," by Joyce Milton. Covers a broad range of basic bat facts, from anatomy to roosting; designed for ages 6 to 9. $3.95.
* "America's Neighborhood Bats," by Merlin Tuttle. A thorough introduction. $10.95 (softcover), $20.95 (hardcover).
* "Bats of America" poster. $9.95.
* Single chamber bat house. Can accommodate 50 to 100 bats. Do-it-yourself kit, $39.95; ready to hang, $49.95.