As COVID-19 continues to rage across the globe, Bat Conservation International (BCI) launched a new website aimed at informing the public of the outsized role conservation and research of bats can have in avoiding the next pandemic.
Bat Conservation International Launches New Website with Focus on Critical Role that Preservation of Habitats can Play in Avoiding Future Pandemics
Washington, D.C., August 19, 2020 – As COVID-19 continues to rage across the globe, Bat Conservation International (BCI) launched a new website aimed at informing the public of the outsized role conservation and research of bats can have in avoiding the next pandemic.
“We are excited to bridge the divide between the scientific work carried out by experts within BCI and the general public, who may never have been properly informed about the immense benefits bats can have on the economy, the ecological sustainability of our planet and even public health,” said Mike Daulton, Executive Director of BCI. “When we preserve natural habitats, we reduce the risk of future pandemics. Now is the time to double down on global conservation, to protect critical habitats around the world, and to protect our health right here in America.”
While food supplies and economies are strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, bats play an essential role in restoring ecosystems and supporting economies around the world. With more than 1,400 species worldwide, bats consumption of agriculture insect pests saves American farmers billions of dollars each year. Bats make up roughly 20% of all mammal species in the world.
A recent scientific paper, co-published by Michael Whitby from BCI, found that 90% of the big brown bats and eastern red bat diets, two common bat species found in the United States, consists of consuming agricultural pest insects.
Researching bats also provides significant value for scientific discovery and informs public health. Scientists discover new viruses every year as a result of human disturbance to wildlife. The study of bats is crucial to developing strategies for global human health. Bats’ special ability to tolerate many viruses could hold the key to our next breakthrough vaccine or treatment.
Dr. Winifred Frick, Chief Scientist at BCI, said, “We know that bat conservation protects both bats and people. We know destroying natural habitats increases zoonotic disease risk. New viruses are less likely to spill over into human populations when nature remains protected and undisrupted.”
For more information visit batcon.org.
About Bat Conservation International
Founded in 1982, Bat Conservation International has grown into a global conservation organization dedicated to ending bat extinctions. Working together, our goal is to redefine what is possible in global conservation, through the utilization of cutting-edge tools, technology, and training to create a real, measurable impact. For more information, visit batcon.org.
Media Contact: Javier Folgar
Tel: 512.327.9721 ext. 410