Although the situation for insectivorous bats in Israel remains serious, David Makin and Dr. H. Mendelssohn's article, which appeared in the December 1985 issue of BATS, has had impact. In the United Kingdom, it was reprinted in its entirety in The Ecologist (Vol. 16, No. 1, 1986), drawing attention to the issue in Europe. Israel Land and Nature, the English-language quarterly of the Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI), also will publish an additional article by Makin and Mendelssohn in their fall issue.
SPNI is a conservation organization of approximately 45,000 members that is legislatively active in countering environmental abuses in Israel. The Nature Conservation Department of SPNI also is attempting to have certain caves protected from human disturbance during critical periods particularly in spring and winter.
In addition, Dr. Benny Shalom of the Israel Mammal Information Centre is planning a major educational campaign and is translating BCI's slide program, "Bats: Myth and Reality", into Hebrew. He hopes to distribute the programs to SPNI's 25 field schools to educate children and adults about the values and importance of bats. Approximately 400,000 people participate annually in SPNI activities. Dr. Shalom's campaign also will include bat posters, candy wrappers with photos of bats accompanied by a conservation message, and bumper stickers. Among his many other efforts, he plans to devote the next issue of Re'em, the Israel Mammal Information Centre's magazine, to Israel's bats and has called for a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture's department in charge of the lindane fumigations in bat caves.
We thank those who already have voiced their concern by sending letters to the Minister of Agriculture and The Nature Reserves Authority. We are making a difference!