What is this sound?
Courtesy of Zoos Victoria
Answer: Extinction - A wakeup call for the world!
August 26, 2009: This is the last recorded call of the Christmas Island pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi).
The Christmas Island pipistrelle went extinct despite having a recovery plan, being listed Critically Endangered, and having a valiant recovery effort that included a moderate amount of research and knowledge of the species, a substantial reserve system, and some management of the threats to the species.
It is time for Bat Conservation International and all individuals, private and governmental organizations, corporations, and all interested parties to proactively take action for the conservation of the most endangered bats in the world. It is time for all of us to stand together and say through our words and deeds, “Not on our watch!” For many of these endangered bats it is not too late if we take action now!
“Monitoring is a critical part of effective species conservation, but many species are being monitored until they go extinct.” Lindenmayer et al., Frontiers in Ecology, 2013.
There are currently 77 Endangered and Critically Endangered bats on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and we anticipate this number to increase as a new assessment is currently underway and as we have come to have a better understanding of the threats facing many of the world’s bats.
As part of BCI’s new 5-Year Strategic Plan, BCI is committed to preventing extinctions and working collaboratively to help stabilize the declining populations of the world’s most endangered bats. BCI has undergone a priority setting process and has selected an initial 35 priority species on which we will focus our time and resources.
To advance bat conservation for the world’s most endangered bats, we plan to work collaboratively to launch Rapid Field Assessments where teams comprised of trained experts, including local leadership, undertake targeted inventories to secure the last known roost sites and, hopefully, identify previously unknown populations.
As part of this strategy, BCI will invest in local capacity and leadership, even as we learn from our local colleagues how to advance bat conservation in some of the most remote regions of the world!
Ultimately, BCI is committed to working together to achieve lasting conservation at scale. To that end, BCI will be working with stakeholders to develop and implement viable Conservation Plans based on the best information available. These conservation plans will chart a path for success and inform actions of BCI and our coalition of trusted partners for endangered bats.
BCI remains committed to the endangered bats that did not make our initial set of 35 priority species. We will work in collaboration with our trusted colleagues and expand our network of existing partners around the world to remain aware and responsive to changing circumstances.
As new information is acquired, a new crisis develops that exacerbates the situation facing bats not on our priority list, or there is a new opportunity that arises to have lasting conservation impact, BCI will be able to take action, adjust our priorities, and work together to make a difference.
Although Livingstone’s flying fox (Pteropus livingstonii) is not one of BCI’s current priority species, its endangered status means that BCI continues to monitor ongoing conservation efforts and needs through local partners in Comoros.
BCI’s Granting Programs may be a source of potential funding in support of endangered bat conservation. For promising projects focused on the conservation of endangered bats, BCI may be able to provide letters of support to endorse the project with other organizations or even in support of funding proposals. Please contact BCI if you are interested in exploring these options.
BCI’s work to prevent extinctions in Africa is currently focused on 6 of the 11 Endangered and Critically Endangered bats currently identified by the IUCN Red List.
BCI’s work to prevent extinctions in Asia is currently focused on 2 of the 25 Endangered and Critically Endangered bats currently identified by the IUCN Red List.
BCI is not currently working on extinction prevention for Europe’s 3 Endangered bats. BCI does, however, collaborate with several leading bat conservation groups in Europe, along with providing funding for Student Research Scholarships and Global Grassroots Grants focused in this region.
BCI’s work to prevent extinctions in Latin America is currently focused on 9 of the 15 Endangered and Critically Endangered bats currently identified by the IUCN Red List.
BCI’s work to prevent extinctions in Oceania is currently focused on 16 of the 22 Endangered and Critically Endangered bats currently identified by the IUCN Red List.
BCI’s work to prevent extinctions in the United States & Canada is focused on the three 3 Endangered and Critically Endangered species currently identified by the IUCN Red List, the additional 5 species and sub-species that are identified as Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act, and several other bat species whose status is particularly imperiled due to serious threats like White-nose Syndrome, wind energy facilities, climate change, habitat fragmentation, and human disturbance.