Bats feed at night. Most locate their food and navigate by uttering a continuous series of ultrasonic cries that return as echoes when the cries hit solid objects. In the daytime they seek shelter in a wide variety of places: caves, mines, buildings, rock crevices, under tree bark and amid foliage. When resting and hibernating, bats can lower their body temperature to nearly match the environment and thus lower their motabolism and conserve energy.
Bats are an important part of the natural system. They help control nocturnal insects, some of which are agricultural pests or annoying to man. Many forms of cave life depend upon the nutrients brought in by bats and released from their guano (feces). And bats have contributed much to man's knowledge through scientific studies of their echolocation abilities, their biology and certain aspects of their physiology.
Bat populations have been declining at an alarming rate in recent years. Some of the more important causes of this decline are destruction of habitat, pesticides and disturbance. Loss of roosting and foraging habitat has resulted from reservoir construction, watershed development, forest conversion, urbanization and cave commercialization.