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Milestones That Make Us Smile

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Milestones That Make Us Smile

Published on December 22, 2015

This year, BCI was marked by many achievements in the bat conversation arena. With your helping hand, BCI has been able to continue its work protecting the myriad of bat species that exist at home and around the world.

Here are all the reasons your support has made us smile in 2015!

Bracken Cave
15-20 million Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) come to give birth in Bracken Cave every year. Credit: Jonathan Alonzo

1. We Got Bracken Back

BCI saved 1520 critical acres at Bracken Cave Preserve in the Texas Hill Country. Bracken's bats — the largest colony in the world — consume more than 100 tons of crop pests and other insects each night, providing Texas farmers with millions of dollars of savings in reduced crop damage and lower pesticide use.

Read: The Battle For Bracken Cave 


White-nose Syndrome
White-nose Syndrome on a cluster of little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus). Credit: Michael Schirmacher

2. A Fight Against White-nose Syndrome

BCI investment in White-Nose Syndrome research has led to the first field tests of a biological control agent for the fungus that causes WNS. If further testing proves equally promising, we will be closer to developing the first effective treatment for WNS, which has killed more than six million bats in eastern North America since 2006. BCI expanded its WNS research budget this year to pursue other potential treatments for this terrible disease.

Read: $100,000 in Grants Awarded to Fight Fungus


Wind turbines
Wind turbines can be seen at the Casselman Wind Project near Rockwood, PA. Credit: Michael Schirmacher

3. Wind Turbines Change Course

Tens of thousands of North American bats annually will be spared fatal collisions with wind turbines, thanks to an August commitment by the wind industry to change how U.S. turbines are managed during peak fall bat migration. A decade of BCI research and work with the industry led to this landmark announcement. BCI will work to implement similar conservation measures with the wind industry in other countries.

Read: Wind industry to get proactive about bat conservation

Read: US Department of Energy awards a share of $1.75 million to BCI to develop ultrasonic bat deterrent devices


Golden-crowned flying fox
The golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) is a fruit-eating megabat found only in the Philippines. It is one of the planet’s largest bat species, with a wingspan up to 5 feet 6 inches long and a weight of up to 2.6 pounds. Credit: Yushi Osawa

4. Conservation at Every Corner of the Globe

BCI has launched a global effort to protect 36 of the most endangered bats in the world. Many of these are island bats suffering from cave disturbance, over-hunting, and the clear-cutting of island forests. BCI is working with local communities in an increasing number of countries to win support for protecting bats and saving or restoring critical habitat.

Read: The Golden-crowned Flying Fox

Read: The Philippines ; Bougainville and Fiji


A pallid bat has captured  a grasshopper
A pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus) has captured a grasshopper Credit: Merlin D. Tuttle

5. Billion Dollar Bats

BCI-funded research revealed bats key role in the agricultural production of corn, preventing more than $1 billion in crop damages around the world every year. This figure is based on a two-year experiment conducted in the grassy cornfields of Southern Illinois.

Read: Billion-dollar Bats


Large Flying Fox Pteropus vampyrus
Large Flying Fox (Pteropus vampyrus) Credit: Ch'ien Lee

6. Partnering Up to Protect Bats

Earlier this year, BCI and the International National Trusts Organization (INTO)—a London-based network of more than 60 national conservation and historic preservation organizations, with a combined membership of nearly 8 million—forged a unique partnership to protect the world’s 1,330-plus species of bats. The two organizations will share information regarding best practices and work to provide the public with reliable information about the value of bats and the threats they face.

Read: International Groups Forge a Global Alliance for Bat Conservation

Help us continue to make the world a better place for bats. Every donation this holiday season will receive some very batty gifts!

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