All Hallows' Eve is upon us. Soon, the streets will be full of wizards and witches conjuring spells, princesses and princes fighting dragons, and space rangers soaring to infinity and beyond. The revelers roam freely in our neighborhoods, trick-or-treating. Most Halloween icons are the stuff of fantasy; some are not. As conservationists, we know the reality for many of the real creatures we celebrate at Halloween is gloomy. As our autumnal festival approaches, three of its winged icons face more tricks than treats.

Take bats, for example. Around the world, bat species are taking a dive.There are more than a thousand bat species and 15 percent are at risk of extinction. Even more disturbing is the rate at which some species are being lost.

Read more in this blog post by WCS’s Joshua Ginsberg and Steve Zack on National Geographic's NewsWatch >>