Media & Education
Volume 35, Issue 3, 2016
Honoring a Leader in Bat Conservation
Announcing the Merlin Tuttle Conservation Award
BCI’s headquarters in Austin stands as a testament to one of his shining achievements—bringing BCI to Austin to lead a vigorous public education campaign to save the 1.5-million strong colony of Mexican free-tailed bats under Congress Avenue Bridge. After meeting with media, community groups, schoolchildren and city leaders, he, along with the BCI team, gradually convinced the people of Austin that they have little to fear and much to gain from their nocturnal neighbors. Now they have become a delight for visitors and locals alike, generating millions of tourism dollars each year for the local economy.
To honor his leadership, the BCI Board of Directors is proud to announce the establishment of the Merlin Tuttle Conservation Award, a funding opportunity for those wishing to strengthen bat conservation through research and community engagement.
Recipients of this distinguished award will be chosen from among the applications received by BCI during a given year in response to BCI’s Requests for Proposals. The first awardee will be selected from the next RFP that will be announced in October. The Merlin Tuttle Conservation Award will inspire scientific research and community action to protect bats around the world and address critical conservation needs.
Since 1998, BCI has awarded more than $1 million to more than 200 aspiring bat conservation leaders for projects in 40 countries. Many of those recipients are now recognized for their expertise at the highest levels in their home countries and within the international scientific and conservation communities.
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