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BCI’s FAQ on Bats and Covid-19

Last updated on May 1, 2020
Published on April 24, 2020
Written by Admin

BCI’s FAQ on Bats and Covid-19

At Bat Conservation International, we are committed to providing and acting on accurate information to protect people and bats. Reports that bats naturally host coronaviruses closely related to the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic are resulting in misguided fear and, in extreme cases, unwarranted and regrettable persecution of bats. This is detrimental to both bats and humans. We present the following information to address frequently asked questions.

What caused the COVID-19 pandemic?
Scientists are still investigating the origins of how the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic got into the human population. Regardless of the viral origins, COVID-19 is now a human disease and the risk of getting sick is from another person, not from wildlife. You cannot catch COVID-19 from a bat.

Will persecuting bats stop the spread of disease or help save human lives?
No! Killing, harming, or harassing bats will not end the COVID-19 pandemic, nor will it protect people from infection. Because bats are not carriers of COVID-19 and play no role in disease spread, indiscriminate killing of bats will not save human lives and does nothing to help protect or improve human health.

What do we know about bats and coronavirus?
Bats are natural hosts to coronaviruses, including some that are closely related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Other wildlife can also be hosts to coronaviruses. Bats with coronaviruses in the wild are not a threat to human health if protected and left undisturbed. Bats and other wildlife do not spread the disease among humans—only humans spread COVID-19 to other humans.

Why should we protect bats?
Bats provide vital ecosystem services such as pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal. Bats are important for global biodiversity and ecosystem health, and many bat species have adapted to living safely alongside us in both urban and rural environments, in our gardens, parks and even roosting around our homes, as beneficial neighbors.

What can we do to help?
Please help by halting the spread of misinformation around COVID-19 and bats. At Bat Conservation International, we work closely with a global network of experts to ensure we provide accurate information as it becomes available. Please check our website for further updates or follow us on social media.


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