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2016 BCI Scholars Announced

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2016 BCI Scholars Announced

Published on February 3, 2016


lesser long-nosed bat
A lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) pollinates an agave.
Credit: MerlinTuttle.org
In November of 2015, BCI received proposals from students across the world who were eager to further bat conservation. The 2016 BCI Scholars are young men and women whose ideas have inspired us—their work is of great importance to the scientific community and bats alike.

In Brazil, Adriana Arias-Aguilar and Leonardo C Trevelin will investigate how land plays a role in bat conservation. Arias-Aguilar’s project, titled “Living on the Edge of Soy,” will focus on how climate and land use influence the structure of bat assemblages in the Cerrado hotspot. Trevelin’s project, similarly, will study how the landscape connectivity of Amazonian populations is affected by deforestation.

In Tabasco, Mexico, Samuel Oporto Peregrino will examine the importance of cacao plantations for bat conservation and seed dispersal processes. Kristen Lear from the United States also will focus her research in Mexico, investigating the potential for bat-friendly agave management for Mezcal and other cultural products.

And from Argentina comes Santiago Gamboa Alurralde—a BCI Scholar and first-ever winner of the Verne and Marion Read Conservation Award. The Read family stated that Alurralde’s proposed study on Tadarida brasiliensis in the SICOM Escaba Dam focused on both “site-specific conservation and on the critical need to educate people about the myriad benefits of bats history of bat conservation work.”

In 2015, BCI restructured the scholarship and granting program to better match the organization’s mission of global conservation. For BCI Senior Director of Global Conservation Dave Waldien, the transition was difficult, but necessary:
“BCI is very proud of our scholarship and granting program,” he said. “I recognize that the transition of BCI’s scholarship and granting program over the past year has been a challenge, especially to those seeking support. It was a difficult decision to undertake remodeling our program, but we believe that ultimately it will prove to be better for the bats, for people seeking funding, and for BCI’s conservation impact through investing in people.”

To learn more about our awards and scholarships click here.

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