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Philippines

Conserving Cave-Bats of the Philippines

Bringing Managers, Communities, and Conservation Groups Together

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The Geoffroys Rousette fruit bat is a species commonly found in caves and hunted for food.

The 7,107 islands of the Philippines one of the world's top ten biodiversity "hotspots" are home to a diverse and invaluable community of 74 species of bats. But their very existence is threatened every day. Philippine bats are relentlessly hunted as bushmeat, and their cave roosts are lost to improper guano mining, recreational caving and the commercial harvesting of swiftlet nests used in bird-nest soup. Their populations are declining throughout the islands.

Bat Conservation International has been working with dedicated partners in the Philippines since 2006 to reverse the dire threats to these bats through conservation, education and research.

"We buy bats at 3 pieces for 100 pesos. It tastes like chicken and it's big. I think you better stop campaigning against bat hunting because the people still will not pay attention to that. You'll just wear yourself out."

Filipino cab driver, December 2008



The Monfort Bat Cave (video)

Philippines Sherwin Video
View the Sherwin Video.

The Lucky Bats!
When tens of thousands of bats emerge at sunset or are seen tightly packed along the walls of a cave, their sheer numbers can leave an impression that bat conservation isn’t particularly critical.

We must remember that the bats we see in such great numbers are usually the “Lucky Bats” that enjoy some measure of protection at a specific site.

They may be terribly vulnerable at other roosts or along migratory routes. And they may, in fact, be so crowded because other roosting options have been lost and this is all they have left.

"I have chased bats all over the world and thought I had seen a lot of interesting things before, but I have never seen anything as wonderful as the bats in your cave.  I have spent many hours reminiscing about my time spent watching those little beasties and I can honestly say that my time spent at the cave was the most profound and truly wonderful professional experience I have ever had...it's absolutely amazing!"

Dr. Rick Sherwin, Christopher Newport University

Bat Conservation International has been working with dedicated partners in the Philippines since 2006 to reverse the dire threats to these bats through conservation, education and research.

  

 

 

 

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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2013

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Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International