Sky Rainforest Rescue

Sky Rainforest Rescue

October 31, 2011 09:31 ET

Dracula Spotted: Latest Sky Rainforest Rescue Newsletter Uncovers Real Life Vampire

Lurking Deep Within the Amazon's Creepy Caves, the Vampire Bat is Nature's Real Life Count Dracula-Mwahahaha

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 31, 2011) - As part of their October newsletter, it's only fitting Sky and WWF highlight one of nature's very own Halloween horrors. With the holiday just gone, many people have enjoyed pumpkin carving, tall-tales and horror films, but what a lot of us don't realise is that nature's very own Dracula lurks deep within the Amazon rainforests dark carves; appearing only at night to feed on its unsuspecting prey.

Vampire bats are the only mammals on the planet to feed off their victim's blood- this despite their minute size (roughly the size of your thumb). These astonishing creatures live in Acre, where Sky Rainforest Rescue is based, and sleep upside down in nearby caves before stealthily appearing in the darkness of night to feed on mammals and birds.

They feed off their victim's blood in order to survive, typically sucking up half their bodyweight during daily feeding. With a powerful sense of smell and impeccable hearing, vampire bats sneak up on their victim without making a sound before using razor sharp fangs to administer the penetrative bite to their host.

Despite their thirst for blood, a vampire bat's actual bite is rarely fatal. However they have been known to spread nasty infections like rabies; so local farmers sometimes treat them as irksome pests.

Although deforestation threatens to destroy the habitats of thousands of creatures living in the Amazon rainforest, the adaptable vampire bat is having a bit more luck. As Sarah Hutchison, Forest Programme Manager at WWF-UK explains:

"Fortunately, these little mammals aren't seriously threatened by human persecution and their tolerance for many different habitat types means they're also coping with deforestation."

Acre's dense tropical forests are home to thousands of other fascinating creatures. So if the sight of a vampire bat swooping across the night sky wasn't enough to make you shrill, there are plenty of hairy tarantulas, poisonous toads and deadly snakes ready to provide enough Halloween frights for one night.

The vampire bat's spooky stigma is just one of three stories accompanying this month's Sky Rainforest Rescue newsletter. Each month, the campaign releases eNewsletters- available online- to spread awareness to help protect the rainforest against the threats of deforestation. Sign up to the Sky Rainforest Rescue newsletter by clicking the link.

For more information, please visit the Sky Rainforest Rescue website.

Notes to Editor

Sky and WWF have teamed up to help save one billion trees in the Brazilian state of Acre, by working with local people to make the Amazon's forests worth more alive than dead. As well as protecting the rainforest, Sky Rainforest Rescue aims to help improve the livelihoods of families living in the area, preserve natural habitats for threatened species and tackle climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.

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