Zoos & Aquariums
Bats in AZA Institutions
Pallas's Long-Tongued bats (Glossophaga soricina), ©Merlin D. Tuttle
When the United Nations (UNEP) declared 2012 as International Year of the Bat (YOTB), zoos and aquariums around the world joined the celebration and continue to help bats through education, field projects, and support of Bat Conservation International (BCI).
Even if you don't have bats on exhibit, you've got them in your neighborhood! They are an important part of your local environment as well as the ecosystems of exotic animals. So ...
The AZA Bat Team has created many resources to help zoos and aquariums celebrate bats and improve awareness of, appreciation for and attitudes about bats. We have developed a suitcase of activities, events and ideas specifically tailored for zoos and aquariums (see What Can Zoos and Aquariums Do?). Many other resources are available at BCI's Partner Resources Page.
At the 2011 AZA Conference in Atlanta, the AZA Bat TAG sponsored a special bat session, "Bats: New Threats, What is Being Done and How You Can Help!", which was attended by more than 100 people and featured five presentations about bats: Why Care about Bats?, Human-caused Threats to Bats, Bats & Wind Energy, White-nose Syndrome, and AZA Resources for Bat Conservation Education.
The presentations included an invitation to AZA institutions to advance conservation and education by utilizing AZA's partnership with Bat Conservation International (BCI), a Year of the Bat Founding Partner, which offers advice, materials and promotion of your bat-related events.
Following the AZA Bat TAG special session, an AZA Year of the Bat team was organized, which created a Facebook page, a Google group, and these zoos & aquariums resources pages, including a publicly accessible listing of AZA institutions which exhibit bats and another page for institutions which offer bat-related education programs. To be added to either/both lists contact us.