Central Park in the fall with autumn leaves

Bats Seen Falling to the Ground in Central Park

During the last month, bats have been falling to the ground in Central Park. As a result, the Park Department is asking visitors to be on the lookout and alert park rangers if they find a bat on the ground.

Why are bats falling to the ground?

In the fall, bats sometimes go into shock before hibernation due to the sudden change in their surrounding temperature. The NYC parks department advised: “It gets too cold for their muscles, and their activity slows. As temps rise throughout the day, so will their body temperature.”

Why are these bats not in hibernation?

According to the Central Park Conservancy, the most common bats in Central Park are tree-roosting bats such as the Hoary Bat, Eastern Red Bats, and Silver-Haired Bats. All three of these species are migratory, so instead of hibernating where they are, they usually travel South to a warmer climate for the winter. As a result, they may be found in New York during the summer, or during migration, they may pass through New York on their way South. 

What should you do if you see a bat on the ground?

If you see a bat on the ground, your instinct may be to try to pick it up or see if it is alive. However, we advise you to follow the Parks Department’s direction and not touch the bat.

A bat could be on the ground for different reasons. Often, a bat on the ground is sick or injured. Bats found on the ground may test positive for rabies. Therefore you should avoid direct contact with the bat if possible. If you touch the bat, it may bite you in self-defense, and you would need to seek urgent medical advice and likely require post-exposure rabies shots. Every year, bats test positive for rabies in all US states except Hawaii. Therefore, regardless of your state, it is vital to be cautious around bats and other wild animals. Follow these guidelines:

Image of bat with warning
Often bats found on the ground are sick or injured. Do not handle them with your bare hands.
  • If you are in Central Park or another public park – alert the Park Rangers. Central Park tweeted “rangers are equipped to help a bat in need.” 
  • If you are in another public place – you should contact your local animal control or licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. 
  • If you find a bat in your yard – do not touch it. Only a trained and vaccinated person should attempt to care for a bat. We recommend contacting wildlife rehabilitators or animal control. Bats live in colonies, so many more bats will likely be nearby. Therefore, we recommend you keep alert for any indications that bats could be living in your property. 

If you suspect you may have bats roosting in your residential or commercial property, please contact your local bat removal company today for advice. We are here to help.

Your Local Bat Removal Expert,

Michael Koski

Get Bats Out Owner and President Michael Koski

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