BCI recently received a $25,000 grant (donor wishes to remain anonymous) to fund an economic botanist to investigate bat values in the Old World tropics. We also recently convinced the World Wildlife Fund - U.S. to sponsor a similar study in the New World tropics. Results of these studies will be published in scientific journals, as well as being distributed to conservation planners and appropriate governments.
Thorough documentation of the ecological and economic values of bats in tropical rain forests and associated economies is essential to their protection in many countries. Bat seed dispersal and pollination activities are vital to the survival of rain forests and to many of the tropic's most economically valuable plants. Hopefully, with these studies, governments and conservation planners will become aware of bat values.
We thank the World Wildlife Fund U.S. and BCI member, David Shields, for making this critical progress possible.