New Gear for WNS Cave Surveys
With WNS moving westward, BCI is helping states conduct winter bat surveys before the disease arrives. This winter, we are visiting caves that haven’t been surveyed in decades, so we have no idea what to expect. With difficult access, harsh weather and uncertainty about the underground terrain, these surveys challenge our biologists in many ways. New caving gear will improve the safety and effectiveness of this important work. Stenlights are the most powerful caving lights on the market and will help us spot hibernating bats in crevices. These cost $296 each. We also need new headlamps and caving helmets for maximum safety. Petzl Elios helmets are $66 apiece. BCI will need six of both units this winter for a total of $2,172.
Bats, Caves &?People in Nigeria
Cave habitats are crucial for countless bats around the world, but underground roosts are scarcely studied in Nigeria and rarely considered in land-management plans. Iroro Tanshi of Nigeria’s University of Benin and colleagues plan to study how varied cave microclimates and the food availability in surrounding habitats influence bats’ roosting choices. The biologists will compare environmental conditions to the abundance of bats at 25 sandstone caves in eastern Nigeria. Among results will be the country’s first reference library of bat echolocation calls. During the study, they also plan a series of community outreach programs to educate local people about bats’ benefits and conservation needs. Tanshi seeks a Global Grassroots Conservation Fund grant of $2,500.
Shipping BCI?Bat Trunks
BCI’s popular Bat Trunks provide teachers and volunteers with all they need for fun and informative bat-education programs. The trunks are packed with everything from our Discover Bats! multimedia kit) and PowerPoint presentations to bat skeletons and guano (in its own magnifying cube). We provide these trunks free of charge for two full weeks. We must, however, ask these dedicated volunteers to pay $40 each for round-trip shipping. With your help, we hope to establish a fund to cover shipping for some of these teachers and volunteers who want to share their knowledge and appreciation of bats, but whose budgets are already stretched thin. Just $800 would help give 20 bat enthusiasts the chance to spread the love to as many kids and/or adults as they can reach in two weeks.