Press Releases

Global Bat Populations Need Research and Conservation Action

Published on April 8, 2019
Written by Admin

 

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The Livingstone's flying fox is listed as critically endangered
by the IUCN. Photo by Richard Wainwright – Durrell.

New Paper from Bat Conservation International Scientists Underscores the Need for Expanded Research and Data Collection to Better Protect Bat Species

AUSTIN, TX (April 8, 2019) – Bat species around the world are threatened by a range of human-related activities and require expanded research and data collection for better protection. In a released paper titled “A review of the major threats and challenges to global bat conservation” in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Bat Conservation International (BCI) scientists, Winifred Frick and Jon Flanders, and Tigga Kingston from Texas Tech University, show that 80% of bat species require research or conservation attention based on data available from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Bat populations face a host of pressing threats including traditional threats to biodiversity such as habitat loss and bushmeat hunting, as well as newer threats such as mass die-offs from heat-waves due to climate change and the spread of the disease White-Nose Syndrome.

Almost a third of bat species are considered data-deficient by the IUCN. Data gaps hinder identifying and prioritizing conservation action and are more severe in areas of highest bat diversity. Islands and caves are two habitats of special importance for focusing bat conservation efforts.

Bats make up a fifth of mammal species around the world and are important contributors to ecosystem health. Bats are especially beneficial for agriculture and reforestation as many species consume crop-eating insects and other species are valuable seed dispersers. Nectar-feeding bats are important pollinators, and some commercially valuable plant species around the world rely on bat pollination.

“Bats are taxonomically and ecologically diverse and face dire and complex threats,” said Frick. “Although the scope of the conservation problem can feel overwhelming, there is progress happening all the time. With sustained efforts to address the research and conservation needs, we can make meaningful progress toward protecting bat populations on a global scale.”

For more information, visit https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14045.

About Bat Conservation International

The mission of Bat Conservation International is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet. For more information visit batcon.org.

Media Contact: Javier Folgar
Bat Conservation International
Tel: 512.327.9721 ext. 410
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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