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Now, the question is, what do we need to do to get them to recover ? said Dr. Frank Ridgleyhead of conservation and research at Zoo Miami. Biologists believe they have the answer. Executives of the Patch of Heaven Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating habitats for wildlife, in February finished building what they claim is the largest bat house in the world in an effort to save Floridas high flyers. Nobody else is doing this kind of work. Not on this scale, said Frederick Hubbard, the sanctuarys executive director. The two-tier structure can house up to 250,000 bats. The University of Florida boasts large bat houses of The University of Florida own.According to the [ UF ] web site, theyre the biggest occupied bat houses in the world, Frederick Hubbard told the Miami Herald. Our bat house is technically bigger. Were trying to get the wording right on that. Frederick Hubbard says the batstend to form colonies, living together and procreating. The new two-tier bat house can hold up to 250,000 total bats. ( Elina Shirazi/Fox News) Theres usually a dominant male, a large male who establishes and claims these coveted kinds of spaces and then he tries to attract females and the females tend to then be attracted to a male who is going to defend the territory and keep a safe space for them, Ridgley said. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Ridgley says the bats are vital to biodiversity and in fact helpful to humans. Theyre cleaning up our skies. Theyre providing all these services and in some parts of the country, you know, bats literally provide billions of dollars of services to the residents, Ridgley said. Ridgley said its hard to know the history of the bats since they were only discovered as a unique species in 2004. There was very little known about this bat just about a decade ago. I mean they only knew of one place where they were roosting and it was a mystery across their whole range here in South Florida. Anything about them, you know, what kind of groups they had, what they need to survive. So there was a lot of intensive study going into answering some of these questions, said Ridgley. Ridgley estimates their population is now only in the hundreds, and technology is helping them to keep track. One device they use, an echo meter, plugs into a cell phone and identifies the type of bat and itslocation based off of sound. They do a type of echolocation and supposedly they have some recorded sounds that theyre going to be able to put up into the bat-house that will attract them, said Frederick Hubbard. Creators claim this bat house at the Patch of Heaven Sanctuary is the largest in the world. Frederick Hubbard said that if their project accomplishes its aim, it may help rewrite the fate of these bats who have lost almost all of their habitat. For now, Frederick Hubbard said they are patiently waiting for the bats to rent out their space. Come home.
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