Media & Education
News Room

Volume 9, Issue 1, Spring 1991

Caught in the Crossfire

The short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata) is just one of many beneficial species of bats frequently killed in vampire control programs throughout Latin America. Countless thousands are destroyed each year. Since a single short-tailed fruit bat can disperse as many as 60,000 seeds in a night, this species is especially important to rain forest regeneration. They frequently roost near people, in places where they are easily spotted. Assuming that all bats are vampires, local farmers, who want only to protect their livestock, destroy all bat roosts they can find. Education in distinguishing vampires from other bats is essential for conservation planning throughout Latin America's tropical forests.

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