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About Us

Our mission: inspiring bat conservation worldwide

Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation is the most recent contribution by Merlin Tuttle to the world of bats. With over 60 years of in-depth knowledge and experience, Merlin Tuttle, renowned bat expert, educator and wildlife photographer, founded MTBC to use his one-of-a-kind experience to teach the world understanding and appreciation of the vital contributions bats make to human beings and the world we share. MTBC provides the world’s finest bat photo gallery, the most up-to-date responses to grossly exaggerated disease speculation about bats, and it is the only place to access Merlin’s unique expertise and support his work.

Hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata)

Bats Need Champions

Bats comprise a fifth of the world’s mammal species and are essential to healthy environments and human economies globally. Nevertheless, they are in alarming decline. In the U.S. and Canada, millions are currently dying from an introduced fungus. And a million more die annually from careless use of wind turbines. Worldwide, millions more are lost needlessly each year when caves are disturbed or destroyed, when bats are over harvested for human food, when beneficial species are mistaken for vampires and due to climate change. Because most rear just one pup per year and live in large colonies, they are especially vulnerable to extinction.

The Current Problem

Bats comprise a fifth of the world’s mammal species and are essential to healthy environments and human economies globally. Nevertheless, they are in alarming decline. In the U.S. and Canada, millions are currently dying from an introduced fungus. And a million more die annually from careless use of wind turbines. Worldwide, millions more are lost needlessly each year when caves are disturbed or destroyed, when bats are over harvested for human food, when beneficial species are mistaken for vampires and due to climate change. Because most rear just one pup per year and live in large colonies, they are especially vulnerable to extinction.

Welders progress at Barton Hill Mine.
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Why We Must Act Now

Bats are primary controllers of the vast numbers of insects that fly at night. Single colonies of cave-dwelling bats can consume hundreds of tons of insects annually. Furthermore, bats pollinate and carry seeds for many of our planet’s most important plants.

We provide clear, science-based explanations to dispel fear and help people benefit from conserving bats. Once people understand the value of bats most voluntarily become enthusiastic protectors.

Our goal is to win friends not battles.

 

Team

Merlin D. Tuttle

Founder & Executive Director

Merlin started his bat career as a teenager, has done field research on every continent where bats live, photographed hundreds of species, founded and led Bat Conservation International for 30 years (retiring in 2009) and has been a key force in changing the way the world perceives bats.
Merlin is comfortable crawling deep into caves, lugging equipment through tropical jungles, or standing on a stage introducing the world to the Secret Lives of Bats. 

Teresa M. Nichta

Operations ManageR

Teresa’s core responsibility is managing Merlin’s extensive photographic collection. She manages social media, video production, field planning, development, correspondence and all things in between.

Alejandro Silveyra

Web Developer

Alejandro focuses on Merlin Tuttle’s website development as well as other behind-the-scenes software matters.

Marla Gostisha

Administrative Assistant

Marla assists with website and database maintenance, graphic design and office administration. She is a competitive tennis player and enjoys cycling and photography.

Danielle A. Cordani

Science SpecialisT

 In addition to administrative support, Danielle provides expertise in bat biology, addressing conservation issues, and generating excitement about protecting our favorite winged friends!

Judy Curran

Bookkeeper

Judy is responsible for collecting, recording and interpreting MTBC financial information. She lives to travel, exercise and read.

Board of Directors

Dr. Michael Ryan

Clark Hubbs Regents Professor in Zoology, The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Rachel Page

Rachel Page conducted postdoctoral research as a Humboldt fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Seewiesen, Germany. Page has been a staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama since 2009. Her research focuses on behavior, sensory ecology and predator-prey interactions in bats.

Linda Moore

Linda was the Director of Administration and Finance for Bat Conservation International for 28 years (retired in 2013). She now serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation’s Board of Directors.

Jeff Acopian

Jeff Acopian has a lifelong dedication to conservation, and for more than 25 years he has been a staunch supporter of Merlin’s bat conservation efforts. Jeff is an electrical engineer and Vice-President of Acopian Power Supplies (www.acopian.com).

William Scanlan

William Scanlan has an MBA in entrepreneurship and is bilingual with a special interest in Mexico, its folk art and mezcal production. In July, 2017, William funded MTBC’s production of a documentary illustrating the key role of bats in sustainable agave production.

Mark Bloschock

Mark Bloschock participated in the Congress Avenue Bridge expansion that led to occupation by the now famous bat colony. He currently serves as Director of Maintenance Operations at VRX, Inc. and lectures nationally and internationally on highway safety as well as on his award-winning accomplishments creating habitat for bats in bridges.

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