BCI's Water for Wildlife Program works with a host of partners, including ranchers, Native American tribes, conservation organizations and federal, state and county agencies to prioritize, protect, restore and create water sources critical to maintaining bat populations.
The Water for Wildlife Program was founded to ensure safe, accessible and reliable water sources for bats and other wildlife.
The Water for Wildlife Program focuses on these core objectives:
- Raising awareness among Western range and wildlife managers, ranchers, agriculturists and other land stewards about the importance of water to bats and the role of bats in maintaining healthy economies and ecosystems.
- Providing training and technical assistance to public and private organizations, agencies and landowners for restoring, enhancing and creating wetland and pooled water resources and associated habitats for bats on Western forest and range lands.
- Assisting landowners and natural-resource managers in evaluating their water resources as habitat for bats and other wildlife at a landscape level and prioritizing essential sites for conservation, restoration and enhancement.
- Promoting and supporting management-oriented research to determine how the distribution, availability and quality of water sources affect bat populations.
- Evaluating natural resource land management resource planning and policy and providing collaborative solutions that improve water availability and access for bats.
Although water is an essential resource for all bats, it is especially critical in hot, dry regions where bats have the greatest physiological demands and where pooled-water drinking sites are most scarce. For this reason, we have focused primarily on the American Southwest, the region with the country's highest bat diversity and most restricted water availability. We also respond to bats and water conservation issues and opportunities in other Western regions as necessary, and we plan to expand internationally to other regions where bat populations are at risk due to a lack of water.