Volume 36, Issue 2, 2017

The Bat Moment


When I became executive director of Bat Conservation International, I did so with a core belief: Within the broader world of conservation, the moment for the bats is now.

Recent headlines in conservation news only confirm that bats need our help more than ever before. In the Washington Post on March 23, we saw the tragic news that White-nose Syndrome has spread to Texas, in an article aptly titled “Merciless Fungus on the Move Again.” White-nose Syndrome has devastated bat populations throughout the northeastern United States, with many hibernacula suffering 99 percent population losses, and the fungus now threatens to spread to critical bat populations in Texas and across the American West.

In February, we saw news that confirms that wind turbines pose a substantial threat to migratory bats like the hoary bat. In that story, a peer-reviewed scientific study led by BCI Senior Director of Conservation Science Winifred Frick found that collisions with wind turbines could put the hoary bat, and other migratory bats, at risk of permanent extinction within 50 years.

That is why BCI’s work today is more important than ever. Working with government and industry partners, BCI is leading the charge to identify new technologies and management practices that reduce impacts of wind development on bats and give new hope to migratory bats like the hoary bat. BCI is on the cutting edge of research to give bats a chance at survival in the fight against White-nose Syndrome, funding scores of innovative studies and identifying new pathways to developing scientific breakthroughs.

With new hope in these key fights for survival, bats can have a brighter future. But it takes involvement from all of us. That’s why BCI is empowering local conservation leaders across the globe to protect bats where it matters most. In Fiji, where the critically endangered Fijian free-tailed bat relies on a vital maternity roost known as Nakanacagi Cave, BCI is working with local volunteer leaders to ensure habitat is protected for future generations. In Fiji, just as in Texas and across the West, the moment for bats is now. With your help, we will give our bats the help they need to survive.

Mike Daulton

BCI Executive Director

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