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With over 1,000 species of bats in the world, we see very different behavior patterns from different species. Some bats will migrate in search of abundant food supply, some will hibernate in certain seasons of the year, and some others will both migrate and hibernate. Whether bats hibernate or migrate is largely dependent on the current supply of food and weather. Just like most other animals, these tiny flying mammals are all for survival and they will do anything they can to stay alive and well-fed.
Bats are very concerned about food and proper shelter which are very important for these creatures and almost any other animal. They are driven by food supply and adequate nests and roosting places. When there is a significant drop in the available food in a given area for the number of bats residing there, these bats go out in search of new places with abundant food supply and will migrate when they find a more promising place. Bats are also particular about where they roost, they need shelter during the day where they can crawl in and sleep away the day. Since they are nocturnal animals and are only active at night, these animals need to rest during the day and also stay away from daylight.
Besides staying away from the bright daylight, bats also need an ideal cozy, warm, and secluded roosting place because they need to hide away from predators to stay alive.
Bats are unable to cope with very cold temperatures and therefore do not thrive in winter. And due to their inability to cope with extreme cold, some bats will retreat into their nests and hibernate in clusters all through the winter. Bats are mostly insectivores and frugivores, and during the winter, insects and fruits become practically non-existent, so winter comes with a tremendous shortage of food sources for these bats and therefore they have very little to live on.
Not all bats hibernate during winter and those who don’t opt for migration. Bats will travel very far distances to avoid the unbearable winter colds. They will travel in search of conducive environments with warm enough temperatures to keep them alive and an abundance of food to make sure they do not starve. Migrating to warmer climates during winter is one of the ways bats ensure they stay alive and survive the season, this is obviously a very long journey but they don’t have many options.
One of the most common bats in America is the little brown bat and these bats have learned to cope with winter by migrating in search of warmer climates to enable them to find enough food and stay alive. However, not all little brown bats migrate, some of them opt for hibernation, they would rather have a very long slumber and remain hidden until spring.
Studies have shown that the tendency of these bats to migrate or hibernate depends on where their roosting places are and how far away warmer climates are from them. Bats that are very far away from warm places tend to hibernate while those that are a little closer to warm climates will rather migrate to survive the winter.
If the distance to find a more conducive place to spend the weather is too far, bats that usually migrate may decide to hibernate instead of spending a great deal of energy flying long distances in search of better weather conditions. Bats also migrate to find better places to hibernate. These animals do not live in the same place all year as they are in constant search of better living conditions with plenty to eat and drink.