Loss of essential roosts, especially those in caves, appears to be the most important cause of North American bat decline and endangerment. Millions of bats have been lost from single caves, initially due to saltpeter extraction for gun powder, and later when they were further altered for tourism. Some caves were even burned due to exaggerated fear of bats.
In recent decades, there have been numerous opportunities to recognize mistakes from the past as well as opportunities for the future. One way to address these issues is through cave management training. Bat Survey Solutions held a workshop in San Marcos, Texas from May 7-9, where attendees were provided with examples of a variety of case histories and what they’ve taught us.
If you’ve been following my blogs (Letters from a Young Bat Scientist–No. 1 through No. 8) about rising star in the world of bat conservation, Alexis Valentine aka “Bat Girl,” then you know this amazing 8th grader has been extolling the virtues of bats to the public since 3rd grade, giving lectures to the Rotary Club, winning science fair competitions, and doing research on bats and white-nose syndrome (WNS) in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park! Alexis was in grade school when she had her first encounter with a bat (above photo). (more…)
Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation is the most recent contribution by Merlin Tuttle to the world of bats. With over 50 years of in-depth knowledge and experience Merlin Tuttle, renowned bat expert, educator and wildlife photographer founded MTBC with one true goal in mind; teaching the world to understand and appreciate the vital contributions bats make to human beings and the world we live in.