Latin America, including the Caribbean, is home to over 30 percent of the world’s more than 1,250 species of bats. Unfortunately, many of the region’s bat species are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Vulnerable, Threatened or Endangered.
Bat Conservation International has more than 20 years of experience working collaboratively to combat the many threats facing bats in Latin America. Yet habitat destruction, roost disturbance, and reckless eradication efforts by misinformed decision-makers continue to place Latin American bats in extreme peril despite the invaluable ecosystem services they provide.
Bats eat enormous amounts of harmful insects, reducing crop damage and limiting pesticide use. By dispersing seeds, bats play a key role in rainforest recovery after slash-and-burn destruction. And they are nighttime pollinators with symbiotic relationships with hundreds of native plants that would otherwise fail to reproduce.
BCI works through diverse partnerships and collaborations – including close cooperation with the Latin American Bat Conservation Network (RELCOM) – to conserve bat species and their habitats throughout the region. Working together, BCI and RELCOM are promoting research, conservation and education, while building local and regional capacity to ensure long-term conservation impacts.
We are helping individuals and organizations overcome the extraordinary challenges that result from isolation and limitations in training and resources. We conduct joint training workshops, deploy rapid-response teams, sponsor student research, implement critical protection and monitoring projects and provide support to Latin America’s growing network of bat-conservation groups.
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