Initiatives
The Threats that Bats Face on a Global Scale

The Threats that Bats Face on a Global Scale

Bats, like so many other species, face wide-ranging threats around the world: foremost is habitat degradation and loss from a variety of human activities. Other threats include indiscriminant killing based on superstitions or fears of disease; uncontrolled hunting of bats for food and folk medicine; wind turbine-caused mortality; and improper mining of bat guano for fertilizer. Invasive non-native species also pose severe threats.

It is widely believed that as many as 25 of the 47 U.S. and Canadian bat species may be vulnerable to the introduced fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the cause of White-nose Syndrome. By some estimates, WNS has killed more than 6 million bats since 2006 in central and eastern North America.

Hibernating bats in other regions of the world also could be vulnerable. Bats living on islands, by virtue of their isolated evolution and limited geographic range, are particularly vulnerable to introduced species such as the Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis), Yellow Crazy Ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) or the feral pigs (Sus scrofa) and goats (Capra hircus) that degrade forest habitats.

Without concerted global action, bat populations will continue to fall, driving many species to extinction. BCI is expanding its work around the world, through collaboration with a wide variety of partners, to detect and respond rapidly to critical, often broad-scale threats to bats.  Where necessary, we will invest in research to understand and develop new technologies or methodologies that alleviate serious threats to bats or substantially improve study or public appreciation of bats.

Africa

Africa is home to more than 21% of the world’s species of bats (269+ species). Learn more about BCI's collaborative work to address the most serious threats facing Africa’s bats.

Asia

Asia is home to more than 34% of the world’s species of bats (448+ species). Learn more about BCI's collaborative work to address the most serious threats facing Asia’s bats.

Europe

Europe is home to more than 3% of the world’s species of bats (42+ species). Learn more about BCI's collaborative work to address the most serious threats facing Europe’s bats.

Oceania

Oceania is home to more than 13% of the world’s species of bats (176+ species).Learn more about BCI's collaborative work to address the most serious threats facing Oceania’s bats.

Latin America

Latin America is home to more than 26% of the world’s species of bats (345+ species).Learn more about BCI's collaborative work to address the most serious threats facing Latin America’s bats.

USA-Canada

USA-Canada is home to more than 3% of the world’s species of bats (47 species). Learn more about BCI's collaborative work to address the most serious threats facing USA-Canada’s bats.

 

BCI relies on the support of our amazing members around the world.

Our mission is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.

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