Why Are Bats Vital to Our Ecosystems, and How Can We Help Them?

Photo Courtesy: Marvin Coloma/EyeEm/Getty Images; David Gray/500px Prime/Getty Images; Khatawut Chaemchamras/EyeEm/Getty Images; Colin Wooderson/500px/Getty Images

Usually, getting attention from the media can help an animal population out when it's in trouble. For bats, it's sort of done just the opposite. Throughout history, bats' frequent association with vampires, diseases, attacks and even the spookiness of Halloween has made the winged creatures some of the most misunderstood animals on Earth.

But these myths are just that — myths. Bats are actually very valuable and essential members of worldwide ecosystems, and some of these biological communities would collapse if bats didn't exist in them. Unfortunately, bat populations around the world are growing ecologically threatened, but there's still time to save these adorable creatures. To celebrate International Bat Night, we're taking a look at the important role these flying mammals play in our world, along with steps we can take to help them out.