"The Balance of Nature": Everything in nature has a place,
occupies a niche, and plays a role, no matter how great or small!
Humankind has greatly altered or destroyed the balance of nature in many
places on the earth. Many of the most feared and misunderstood species (i.e., snakes, bats & sharks) have
been heavily impacted by human activity and are declining worldwide.
However, these species are vitally important to the health of many ecosystems
and benefit humans in a great variety of ways. Sharks act as the "garbage men" of the seas by removing sick and injured
animals. A single snake can eat up to 3,000 rodents in its lifetime, and a single bat can consume up to 3,000 insects
in one night! The benefits such species provide to humans far outweigh the very small percentage of danger!
A common rat snake or kingsnake can eat hundreds to thousands of harmful
rodents in its lifetime. Rodents can be very dangerous to humans in numerous
ways - rodents eat 1/3 of the world’s stored grain annually, spread infectious human diseases, and chew on electrical
wiring which can lead to fire and human death.
A single bat can consume 3,000 or more insects in one night, and one colony
of roosting bats can consume millions of insects annually! Bats are one of the
greatest predators of harmful insects such as mosquitoes and agricultural crop pests, like cucumber beetles and cotton
bollworm moths. Bats play a vital role in the control of mosquitoes, which can
carry and transmit dangerous diseases such as West Nile and several other deadly viruses.
Often times, the most persecuted species in nature aid humans in numerous and
uncountable ways. A better understanding of such species will benefit people
and preserve such critical species in nature.