• Question: Can we help bats to survive in the future?

    Asked by sahelgaming123 to Barbastelle Bat on 6 Dec 2017.
    • Photo: Barbastelle Bat

      Barbastelle Bat answered on 6 Dec 2017:

      Yes, absolutely! It is essential that we help bat populations survive into the future. Bats play an important role in a wide variety of ecosystems all around the world, and provide essential ecosystem services such as controlling insect populations, pollinating plants, and facilitating forest regeneration by dispersing seeds in their droppings. We can help bats survive by ensuring that (i) they are not persecuted (intentionally killed or disturbed) or eaten, (ii) their roosting places are protected, and (iii) there foraging habitats and prey remain available in sufficient quantity to sustain populations. In many countries bats are protected by law to try to slow and reverse historic population declines, but legal protection in some countries is still very poor and needs to be addressed. There is much we don’t understand about many bat species though, so research plays an important role in growing our knowledge of what bat populations need to sustain their populations. Lastly, unfortunately bats don’t always get the best press, usually because people associate them with negative mythological or cultural superstitions (which are all complete nonsense of course!), so an important job for bat conservationists is to get the message out to people that bats are amazing animals and shouldn’t be feared!