Pat Morton, BCI's Director of Education, has produced a book and poster in Spanish as part of an educational campaign about bats in tropical America [BATS, Fall 1988]. The project was funded by the World Wildlife Fund, relying on BCI for expertise and photographs. The WWF is now distributing 5,000 copies of this educational package to nongovernmental conservation agencies throughout Latin America. BCI has a limited number of copies of the book and poster available for donation to grassroots environmental education programs.
The 48-page book, Murcielagos Tropicales Americanos (Tropical American Bats), includes sections on the biology of bats, their importance to tropical ecosystems and associated economies, threats to their survival, identification and control of vampire bats, and, finally, brief natural histories of 11 widespread species found in Latin American tropics. The color poster contains conservation information and features four of Merlin Tuttle's photographs, each one highlighting an important ecological role played by bats.
Education materials in Spanish are especially needed in Latin America, where many people believe all bats are vampires. Attempts to control vampires often result in the deaths of thousands, even millions, of beneficial insectivorous and fruit and nectar-eating bats when their caves are dynamited or burned. Those killed include many migrants from the United States that winter in Mexico.
BCI requests the help of members in identifying individuals and education centers that would benefit from these materials and for help in their distribution. To request copies of the educational package, please write a short proposal (in English or Spanish), including the name, address, and phone number of the recipient organization or person, number of copies desired, method of distribution, and how the materials will be used. When possible, we would appreciate a donation to help defray foreign shipping costs. Inquiries should be directed to Pat Morton, Director of Education, Bat Conservation International
One of the greatest problems for bats in Latin America is lack of information; most bats, including beneficial ones such as this long-tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina), are thought to be vampires. PHOTO BY MERLIN D. TUTTLE