BCI's experience has shown that the best way--sometimes the only way--to make bat conservation a priority in wildlife agencies is to train at least one person who can educate others. With government cutbacks on environmental programs in the U.S. and other countries, the vast majority of people who have played this role in the past couldn't have done it without scholarship funding for their training from benefactors such as the Bass Foundation; Bob Scheutz of Phoenix, Arizona; Helen Johnson of Salinas, California; and Lee Schmitt and Lori Delafield of Dallas, Texas.
Last year scholarship recipient Trudy Chatwin, a biologist with British Columbia's Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks, offered a good reminder of the scholarships' strong return on investment. Only two months after completing a session in Arizona, she wrote: "Since the course, I have given park programs, assisted people with bat and bat house problems, successfully radiotracked bats to giant cedar roost trees, and conducted studies of the rare Keen's long-eared myotis (Myotis keenii) at the only known hibernation site for this species."
If you would like to make a donation to help send a deserving applicant to a workshop, please write or call for more information:
P.O. Box 162603
Austin, TX 78716
Thanks to a scholarship that helped cover the cost of a BCI workshop, farm advisor Rachael Long (see page 3) was able to get the training she needed to research the impact of insect-eating bats on agricultural pests, and then to teach farmers what she had learned. Here she listens for the echolocation calls of bats arriving at dusk at a pear orchard.