A brief review of some of BCI’s accomplishments in the last six months...
North American Bat Conservation Partnership (NABCP)
Announced the first-ever National Bat Coordinator position, jointly funded by BCI and the USDA Bureau of Land Management. This leadership position brings together public and federal agencies on behalf of bats.
Coordinated the bat research community’s first formal election of Executive Committee members. The committee oversees development of conservation planning strategies, sets priorities, and administers, solicits and reviews grant applications for conservation projects.
Supported Chris Sanders in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in gating that state’s largest bat hibernation site, the Roxbury Iron Mine in Roxbury, Connecticut. The mine historically housed endangered Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis), and now hosts approximately 2,000 bats each winter. With over 2,500 feet of passage, the mine is capable of housing millions.
Initiated new project to identify and protect roosts and foraging areas of greater long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris nivalis) in northeastern Mexico and Texas’ Trans-Pecos region. The research is critical for understanding this endangered pollinator’s needs, and the project will involve local communities on both sides of the border in conservation efforts.
Conducted workshops in Venezuela and Chile to educate government officials, biologists, veterinarians, educators and local residents about the value of South America’s bats. Participants learned to survey for bats, to manage bat colonies in public buildings and to use bat houses as alternative roosts.
Bats & Mines Project
Gave keynote address at British Columbia’s 24th Annual Mine Reclamation Symposium, then surveyed a dozen abandoned mines for bats at Homestake Canada’s Nickel Plate Mine.
Hosted the Colorado Bats and Mines Workshop for more than 45 participants from federal, state and private organizations. This was the 18th Bats and Mines Workshop offered since the project began in 1993.
Assisted Dr. Patricia Brown with radio telemetry project for mine roosting lappet browed bats (Idionycteris phyllotis) in Arizona. Seven mines critical for this rare bat were gated in partnership with the USDA Bureau of Land Management, the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Wallace Research Foundation.
Addressed mining ministers from countries throughout the Americas at the Mine Expo 2000 International Conference in Nevada.
Bat House Research Project
Completed the new video, “Building Homes for Bats,” which is now available. The video features people who have successfully used bat houses to reduce yard and crop pests and outlines the keys to attracting bats.
Installed three experimental bat culverts at the Bar M Plantation in Georgia. The concrete culverts mimic natural roosts in cypress cavities and are designed to attract Rafinesque’s big-eared bats (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) or southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius).
Bats and Buildings
Launched the Bats in Buildings Program to educate pest control professionals about bats and certify professionals who use exclusion techniques that help both bats and people. This will help protect thousands of bats each year from needless extermination.
Global Grassroots Conservation Fund
Awarded a grant to local conservation group, Edueco, in Honduras, for incorporating bats into the country’s existing environmental education and conservation efforts. The local group has developed classroom worksheets, radio spots, posters and other educational materials that introduce Hondurans to the roles bats play in the environment and the benefits of preserving bat colonies.
Education and Scholarships
Received reports from BCI scholarship recipients Tammy Mildenstein and Sam Stier that their work in the Philippines has resulted in a partnership with Shell Oil. Based on their research, Shell will incorporate plants important to bats into an intensive habitat restoration project in Subic Bay. The effort benefits the country’s threatened flying fox colonies.
Conducted a BatSound—Acoustic Monitoring Workshop in Portal, Arizona. Using the latest technology, 17 participants, from researchers to resource managers, learned to conduct field surveys and record and analyze bat calls. Lars Pettersson, a longtime BCI supporter and developer of bat detectors and BatSound software, led the workshop along with Herman Limpens, who teaches bat detecting skills to conservationists throughout Europe.
Hosted five Bat Conservation and Management Workshops and two One-day Educator Workshops in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia. More than 110 biologists, land managers and educators, including participants from as far away as the Republic of China and Northern Ireland, learned techniques for implementing bat conservation in their home regions.
Released “Kids Discover Bats!,” which introduces bats to children ages 4-7. BCI and L&H Productions created the 22-minute video using live-action footage, animation and enthusiastic child narrators. Favorable reviews have appeared in Parenting, the School Library Journal and Video Librarian.
Coordinated with the Ohio Department of Health to develop a new Bats and Rabies brochure for statewide distribution. BCI photography and presentation of bat facts will help people understand bats, rather than fear them.
Participated in Disney On-Line’s “Creature of the Week” program, answering questions about bat behavior, biology and habitats.
Lectured at the USDA Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia. BCI frequently partners with the Fish and Wildlife Service on conservation initiatives, and this event offered an opportunity to introduce more than 500 attendees to the world of bats.