Volume 17, Issue 4, Winter 1999

Progress Report from Costa Rica

Thanks to the initiative of Costa Rica’s National Museum and biologists Bernal Rodríguez-H (far right) and Richard La Val (next to Rodríguez-H), Costa Rican conservationists are learning to teach others about bats. The infamy of vampire bats, common to this region, has made most citizens want to see all bats destroyed. Realizing that national parks and other protected areas offer the best opportunity to educate the public, the National Museum has recently sponsored two weekend bat workshops for park naturalists and preserve caretakers, and encouraging results are already in. Environmental educators report that bat lessons now constitute a significant and popular portion of their nature presentations. In Santa Rosa National Park, a colony of Peters’ sac-winged bats (Balantiopteryx plicata) living in the park museum are now protected, as is the park’s Sendero Cave, home to a colony of this same species and four others.

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