(FOX40.COM) — California has a number of official state symbols including a state flower, a state bird, two state fish and now a state bat.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 732, which was introduced by California Senator Caroline Menjivar, into law last week officially making pallid bats the official bat of the state of California.
“By naming the Pallid as state bat, Californians can become more knowledgeable on our diverse ecosystems and wildlife while increasing respect for the many benefits bats provide for our state,” said Menjivar.
According to the law, the pallid bat, the scientific name of which is Antrozous pallidus, can be found in “California’s deserts, oak woodlands, coastal redwood forests, and high up into the pine forests of the Sierra Nevada mountains.”
Menjivar said the idea for designating a state bat came to her from a 12-year-old constituent named Naomi.
“Bats are awesome!” said Noami. “They are most valuable for their pest control – eating up mosquitos, scorpions, and crop-destroying insects. I also love them because they are so cute and fascinating with all their amazing adaptations.”
According to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, pallid bats typically weigh between 0.7-1.2 oz., have a wingspan between 15 – 16 inches and can live up to 10 years in the wild.
The museum also notes that the bats can eat up to half their weight in one night.