Volume 34, Issue 1, Winter 2015

A Hand From Mickey

Taking action to save four endangered bats


With new grants from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, BCI is launching or expanding projects on three continents to conserve four of the world’s most endangered bats.

In Latin America, the Mexican long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) is an elusive pollinator with only one known breeding site, in the central Mexican state of Morales, which BCI will work with local partners to protect.

Further south, BCI is partnering with Dr. Jafet Nassar and the Program for Bat Conservation in Venezuela to expand protection for the Paraguaná moustached bat (Pteronotus paraguanensis). Isolated to the tiny Paraguaná Peninsula in northwest Venezuela, this important insect-eating species faces serious threats at all of its known cave roosts. The currently protected area, Santuario de Fauna Cuevas de Paraguaná, was established by the government in 2008, but it lacks sufficient on-the-ground protection. BCI and our partners will secure the caves from further human disturbance and work with the government to expand the official preserve to include the bats’ most important nightly foraging areas.

In the Pacific, a Disney grant will allow BCI to expand its “Filipinos for Flying Foxes” program to establish new roost sanctuaries for the endangered golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), the planet’s largest bat by weight (up to 2.6 pounds). 

Disney will also help fund work in Africa on the Maclaud’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus maclaudi), which was unseen for forty years and feared extinct until its rediscovery in Guinea in 2007. This project is on hold, however, due to the Ebola crisis.

 

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