El Yunque NF
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  • Bats

    Bats are the only indigenous mammal remaining on Puerto Rico. There are 11 types of native bats to be found in El Yunque (of 13 in Puerto Rico), although they are not commonly seen.

    Bats feed on flowers, fruit, insects, birds and fish, and are vitally important in pollination and insect control. How important?

    • Bats consume almost half their body weight in insects each night. Bats are the most important natural predators of night-flying insects and eat tons of mosquitoes, moths, beetles, crickets, leafhoppers and chinch bugs. Many of these are serious crop or forest pests or spread disease to humans or livestock. In fact, bats save over $1 billion a year in corn crop damages around the world
    • Over 500 plant species rely on bats to pollinate their flowers, including species of mango, banana, cocoa, durian, guava and agave!

    Where will I see this animal in El Yunque?

    These animals are uncommon, but they can occasionally be viewed near forest nature trails as they leave their roosting places to forage for insects at twilight.

    However, you may see evidence of one of our bat boxes. You can help bats by building a bat box in your yard too!