What is MTBC?

Our mission: inspiring bat conservation worldwide.


Bats need champions.

No group of mammals has been more misunderstood, needlessly feared or intensely persecuted.  Relying on a powerful combination of science, field knowledge and photography, MTBC is helping save millions of bats, protecting public health, economies and worldwide ecosystems by teaching people to live harmoniously with bats.

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.

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.

If bat decline is not reversed, we could face dire consequences, such as—

  •         Billions of dollars of agricultural and forestry losses in single countries;
  •         Dramatically increased reliance on pesticides that can cause cancer and dementia;
  •         Increased threats from mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and West Nile virus;
  •         Famines caused by loss of bat pollination of food staples like bananas; and
  •         Droughts due to ecosystem failures caused by loss of insect-eating, pollinating, and seed-dispersing bats.

People Fear Most What They Understand Least

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.

We Don’t Know Enough

Bats are incredibly important, both ecologically and economically, but many of their benefits and needs remain undiscovered or unacknowledged due to lack of research and a tainted reputation. For the last 60 years, Merlin Tuttle has been a catalyst, both to encourage discovery and discourage exaggerated fear. His famous photos of bats in action, catching insects, pollinating flowers and spreading seeds, coupled with vast field experience provide a knowledge base for educators and scientists worldwide. MTBC is dedicated to encouraging new research efforts on the benefits and needs of bats and furthering exploration.

Why Help

Education regarding bats as safe and invaluable neighbors is essential. However, ensuring their future requires much more.

Each species has unique needs. What helps one may kill another. Merlin’s more than 60 years of experience with hundreds of species worldwide, combined with his photographic documentation and up-to-date scientific knowledge MTBC shares is unsurpassed, can be found nowhere else and never more needed.

Knowledge of bat requirements is vital. How to—conduct research without harm, maximize protection, solve nuisances, and live safely and harmoniously together.

Help Us. Help Bats. Help You.

Join MTBC today.

Honduran white bats (Ectophylla alba) roosting in a “tent” formed by cutting the midribs of a Heliconia leaf in Costa Rica.