BCI was founded by Dr. Merlin Tuttle in the United States and by Dr. Robert Stebbings in England, with generous donations from the Chapman Foundation and the Vincent Wildlife Trust. Although independent in the United States, BCI was affiliated with the Fauna and Flora Preservation Society (FFPS) in England and shared one voting Director, John Burton. Office space and facilities were provided by the Milwaukee Public Museum.
Since 1982 BCI has been financed by its members in the United States, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia and the South Pacific, and by grants, primarily from the Chapman Foundation. All funds in England were contributed to the FFPS and are now being used by them to begin their own bat project, emphasizing bat conservation in England.
On 29 November 1984 the Directors of BCI and the FFPS agreed that both BCI and the new FFPS group, International Bat Project (IBP), could function most efficiently as non-affiliated, cooperating organizations. John Burton and Dr. Robert Stebbings have resigned as BCI Directors to become Directors of IBP. Both groups intend to freely exchange information and materials, and we wish our sister organization the best of success.