Volume 16, Issue 3, Fall 1998

BCI Highlights

A brief review of some of BCI's accomplishments in the last six months.

A brief review of some of BCI's accomplishments in the last six months.

The "BCI Highlights" report appears in the fall and spring issues of BATS to help keep members informed about BCI's progress. For more information on the following programs, please visit our web site at www.batcon.org, or call our office at (512) 327-9721. You may also request a copy of BCI's annual report or view it on our web site.

North American Bat Conservation Partnership

- Expanded the Partnership to more than 150 state and federal agencies, universities, private corporations, conservation organizations, and others. As a result, bats are finally being routinely included in broad conservation planning.

- Surveyed the 12 most important remaining hibernation caves
for endangered Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis), discovering serious problems, which when corrected, will likely reverse this species' decline at key sites.

- Co-hosted Cave-Gating Workshop with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Cave Conservation Association, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service, resulting in a new bat-friendly gate to protect a colony of endangered gray bats (Myotis grisescens) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

- Cosponsored Anabat Workshop with the developers of the Anabat computer analysis system, which allows scientists to identify some bat species by their echolocation calls.

Workshops / Education
- Taught bat basics to more than 80 wildlife professionals and educators at Bat Conservation and Management Workshops. (See articles on pages 3 and 8.)

- Introduced four one-day Bat Educator Workshops attended by 175 teachers and park interpreters who learned the latest techniques and tools for teaching about bats.

- Received three national awards for the Discover Bats! video, which debuted this past spring in BCI's Discover Bats! Multimedia Educator Kit.

North American Bat House Research Project

- Collaborated with bat house Research Associates to design, construct, and test several innovative new bat house designs, including a double-chambered "rocket box" that was highly successful in its first summer of testing, and modular houses that are anticipated to shelter up to 14,000 bats in a house just four feet square.

- Assisted the New York Mets in providing housing for 6,000 bats at the team's spring training facility in Florida. Reporters from across North America featured the story.

U.S.- Mexico Migratory Bat Initiative (PCMM)

- Produced 20 bat education programs for Radio Educación, the
official broadcaster of Mexico's Secretary of Public Education. The series of 15-minute programs was recognized with the Grand Prize for Children's Programs at the Second Annual Latin American Radio Conference in May.

- Pilot-tested a new vampire bat education course for Latin America and produced a vampire control field manual in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

- Co-hosted the Third Annual Mexican Free-tailed Bat Workshop for 40 biologists, land managers, and state park employees involved in managing this species (Tadarida brasiliensis) in the U.S. and Mexico.

Student Scholarships

- Evaluated 56 graduate student proposals submitted to the Student Scholarship Program and funded 18 to study ecological and economic roles and conservation needs of bats in Thailand, Ghana, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Australia, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the U.S.

Bats and Bridges Project
- Completed a survey of 1,270 bridges and culverts in 25 states and began preparation of a handbook on how to create inexpensive habitat in highway structures wherever appropriate.

- Conducted bridge surveys for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Oregon, documenting excellent potential for expanding artificial roosts in highway structures.

Public Outreach

- Hosted film crews from five countries, educating millions of viewers worldwide with special reports on bat conservation and BCI. Also reached large international audiences through Voice of America Radio and numerous newspaper and magazine articles.

North American Bats and Mines Project

- Revised and reprinted the Bats and Mines handbook, with new gate designs and expanded resources.

- Gated the Round Top Mine in Maryland in collaboration with the American Cave Conservation Association, the Nature Conservancy, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. This is one of the area's only hibernation sites for endangered Indiana bats and six other species.

- Gated the 3C Mine in southern California to protect 2,000 California leaf-nosed bats (Macrotus californicus) and 400 yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis) in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and colleague Dr. Pat Brown. This is the largest overwintering population of California leaf-nosed bats in the U.S.

- Assisted the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service in protecting Jack Gordon's Mine in Cape York, Australia. This mine houses six species of bats, five of which are rare and endangered.

- Trained more than 60 mining professionals at Mine Assessment for Bats workshops in Michigan and New Mexico.

- Provided bat conservation recommendations for 22 abandoned underground mines at Homestake Mining Company's Corona Gold Mine in Nevada.

- Developed design specifications for Echo Bay Minerals Company for construction of Nevada's first artificial underground bat roost.

- Evaluated six abandoned coal mines for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and made recommendations for bat-compatible closure methods.

We regret that, given our limited space, we cannot possibly acknowledge all the organizations and individuals who have contributed to these projects. Your support is deeply appreciated.

Valentin the vampire bat learns about bats' roles in the food chain in this new Spanish/English storybook, the second in a series produced by BCI and the PCMM (see opposite page). It is available through the BCI catalog, 512-327-9721. Ask for item B-32.

Surveys of bats using bridges in 25 states (shaded) documented the excellent potential for artificial bat habitat in bridges of the future.
BCI is currently working with state highway departments to that end.

All articles in this issue:

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