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Abstract

Did you know that there are more than 1,000 species of bats? They’re also the only mammals that can fly! These amazing animals are well adapted to life in the forest, but what happens when wildfires hit their homes?

We wanted to find out how wildfires in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California affect bats. We looked at three different areas where there have been large fires and counted how many species of bat we found in those areas. We also looked at how different levels of fire severity affected bats.

Our results showed that wildfires are beneficial to bats. This is mainly because fires make forests less cluttered, which makes it easier for bats to find food and roosting spots. Instead of preventing all fires, we should manage some fires burning far from people so that there is a mix of severities and bat habitats. This would help bats and also reduce the risk of out-of-control megafires happening in the future!

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