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A long with the many other benefits bats provide, their droppings, otherwise known as guano, makes for phenomenal fertilizer! Guano has long been mined from caves around the world for use as fertilizer due to its high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous. It provides some of the world’s finest natural fertilizers for both commercial production, and for local farming purposes in places throughout Southeast Asia and Latin America.

However, large-scale guano harvesting can have huge impacts on bat colonies. Bats are extremely sensitive to disturbance, and harvesting guano while bats are roosting can cause pup loss and abandonment of caves/habitats. Lack of understanding of these impacts, coupled with unclear property rights and lack of any rules to enforce, have led to unsustainable guano harvesting practices. It is extremely important to collect guano when the roost is empty. Harvest guano in the winter months, when the bats have left their summer roosts, in order to ensure you don't disturb them.

 

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