Mexican Free-tailed Bats
Jonathan Alonzo

Protecting bats is important for our health and the health of our planet

Bats play a vital role in keeping us healthy, restoring our natural ecosystems, and supporting human economies around the world.  Studying and monitoring bats in their natural habitats allows researchers to better understand the ability of many bat species to tolerate viruses. These research efforts may be key to the next breakthrough vaccine or treatment against shared viruses.

Importantly, insect-eating bats protect crops around the world and help minimize the need for pesticides. Nectar-seeking bats are also essential, as pollinators, for maintaining food supplies.  And fruit-eating bats are the world’s foremost seed-dispersers, distributing more seeds than any other fruit-eating bird or mammal, which plays a critical role in regenerating forests, meadows, deserts, and other landscapes.

Bat Facts

Bats species are considered threatened by the IUCN
plant families rely on bats as their major or exclusive pollinators
and more, in agricultural and human health savings for the planet every year
species of plants rely on bats for seed dispersal, including pioneer plant species

J. Scott Altenbach

What we learned from the global COVID-19 Pandemic

During the height of the During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Winifred Frick, BCI’s Chief Scientist, discussed zoonotic spillover and why bats are important in the world and for public health.

Peter Neumann

In the News

Setting the Terms for Zoonotic Diseases: Effective Communication for Research, Conservation, and Public Policy
Jul. 13, 2021, MDPI

Message from our Executive Director on the World Health Organization’s Report on the Origins of COVID-19
Mar. 30, 2021, Bat Conservation International

The Fate of Bats is Hanging in the Balance. That Could Have Very Real Consequences for Us
Mar. 17, 2021, PBS News Hour

The Virus, the Bats and Us
Dec. 11, 2020, NY Times

COVID: Why bats are not to blame, say scientists
Oct. 12, 2020, BBC News

What bats can teach us about developing immunity to COVID-19
Sept. 11, 2020, LA Times

Deadly Diseases from Wildlife Thrive When Nature is Destroyed, Study Finds
Aug. 5, 2020, The Guardian

Ecology and Economics for Pandemic Prevention
July 24, 2020, Science

How Bats Beat Coronaviruses Could Hold the Key to Tackling COVID-19 Pandemic
July 24, 2020, Newsweek

Bats carry coronaviruses but don’t get sick. Could their secret help us fight COVID-19?
June 27, 2020: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Bats and COVID-19 @19:30
June 26, 2020: BBC

Bats are immune to coronaviruses, so scientists are looking at what we can learn from them
June 23, 2020: Health 24

Why Bats Are Ecological Superheroes
June 20, 2020: Mercola

Bats: The Mystery Behind COVID-19
June 9, 2020: CNN

Full Story: The connection between bats and Coronavirus: Wildlife is not to blame
May 21, 2020: The Invisible Mammal

How Bats Might Have Tamed the Coronavirus
May 10, 2020: The Atlantic

A New Virus Could Yet Spread From Animals To Humans
April 22, 2020: Forbes

Don’t Blame Bats for COVID-19
March 29, 2020: Business Mirror

From Bats to Human Lungs, the Evolution of a Coronavirus
March 27, 2020: The New Yorker

Bats are a possible source of the coronavirus — but humans are to blame for the spread of the disease
March 24, 2020: Discover Magazine