Year of the Bat highlights in winter 2011 included the New Year’s launch at the Malaysian National Zoo Negara, a “Bat Camp” at the Bat Sanctuary of Samal Island (Philippines), the French Ministry of Sustainable Development’s La forêt racontée par..., a spectacle with film, theatre and other performances at Paris’s National Museum of Natural History, the campaign launch in Alcanena, Portugal, inaugurated by the Secretary of State for Environment, and Encontro Brasileiro para o Estudo de Quirópteros, a cross-border workshop on bat conservation and research in Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil held in Maringá, Brazil.
Among the many Bat Camp side activities were: Japan Day; a Welcome Dinner for the first Eco Tour to the Philippines, organized by BCI; a VIP Dinner to launch the opening of Monfort Eco-Tourism Village; a Teachers Workshop; “Fly with Bats”; Bat Emergence Night Tours; Tree Planting Activities; and “Bike for Bats”.
We congratulate Norma Monfort, President of Philippine Bat Conservation, BCI ’s executive team and the nearly 200 participants who gathered together to show that bat conservation can be a global cause.
Contributor: Norma Monfort, President, Philippine Bat Conservation
Other significant cross-border action items were identified during the workshop: Future studies of migratory species, expanding to Paraguay and Uruguay, will produce a protocol for research and bat monitoring, and try to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts by understanding more about vampire bat ecology and the roosting ecology of bats in urban areas. In the area of habitat loss and fragmentation, priority actions will be taken on sites without protection and protected sites lacking management. RELCOM members PCMA, PCMB and PCMBr are excited about what will come next, and agree that the dynamic discussions will serve as a guideline for international conservation actions, in particular near country borders.
Year of the Bat congratulates our South American partners on a fruitful workshop.
Contributor: Luis F. Aguirre, General Coordinator, RELCOM
Family or group activities such as planting trees to benefit both bats and forests, is a good opportunity to spend the day in a stimulating environment of informal learning. Or ask your local hardware store and or bat group, to sponsor a family bat box-building day at a nearby zoo or public park.
And don’t forget to notify your local media. Television, radio or newspaper coverage can raise interest in your Year of the Bat event, while increasing public awareness in your community for bat conservation.
There is never a time too late for raising awareness!
Year of the Bat Photo Contest! Get Your Cameras OUT...
It's time for the Year of the Bat photo competition! Go on the hunt for bat pictures this summer and get the chance to have your photo published on the new Year of the Bat Poster!
This is an opportunity for non-professional photographers from all over the world to reach a global audience and to help raise awareness on the Year of the Bat. We kindly request that bats are not disturbed while on the look-out for your picture.
So get ready and submit the bat-tastic pictures!
For terms and conditions, please see here.
And forests are also key habitats and foraging areas for bats that play a key part in keeping our forests healthy through their essential eco-services including seed dispersal, insect control and pollination. Bats function as seed dispersers and pollinators, ensure new plant life and thus maintain a high level of plant biodiversity. Essentially they can be thought of as “gardeners” of our forests! Besides this, their appetite for critters means they are excellent pest controllers and thereby again positively contributing to a healthy forest.
Year of the Bat encourages partner organizations, communities, schools and local governments to combine “Year of the Bat” and “International Year of Forests” activities whenever possible. Join up with other organizations celebrating forests – show your support for bat conservation and sustainable forests by organizing a bat/forest themed event.