Bats are one of the most abundant and diverse groups of tropical mammals and form a fundamental component of African biodiversity. Several studies have highlighted bat diversity and abundance as key indicators of habitat disturbance, environmental change, and potential conservation value (Pineda et al. 2005). Bats perform important ecological roles as seed dispersers, pollinators and predators, therefore understanding their conservation status is vital.
Despite their importance to biodiversity, bat populations are declining worldwide (Hutson et al. 2001) and the ecology and status of most African bat species are poorly known. The lack of research on African bat populations hinders our understanding of the consequences of environmental change. Research and conservation is needed to inform land-use regimes and development, and advise stakeholders at times of increased population pressure (Struebig et al. 2008).
ABC aims to fill this gap by conducting applied research, community awareness, education and capacity building in bat conservation, research and monitoring. We are working in partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife in Malawi to build capacity for bat research and conservation in Malawi and bring bats to the conservation agenda. We are partnered with Lilongwe Wildlife Trust who have expertise in community education and awareness. Using their expertise we are working with local communities to increase understanding of the importance of bats, dispel myths and mitigate human-bat conflict.
ABC is partnered with