To support conservation, education, and research initiatives involving bats and their ecosystems.
About the Organization:
More than twenty-five years ago, when scientists were concerned that bat populations were declining rapidly, Bat Conservation International (BCI) was founded by Dr. Merlin Tuttle, an internationally recognized authority on bats and then head of the mammal division of the Milwaukee Public Museum. With a full-time staff of thirty-nine biologists, educators, and administrators, BCI is supported by more than fourteen thousand members in seventy countries. Its conservation efforts have resulted in permanent protection for a majority of North America's most important remaining bat caves, saved millions of bats from being buried accidentally during mine closures, and led to the establishment of a national park to protect a tropical rain forest in American Somoa. In addition, BCI has sponsored research documenting the roles of bats in major ecosystems, trained wildlife managers in bat management and conflict avoidance techniques, and funded training for graduate students in fifty countries.
Notable among BCI 's nine conservation programs are the Bat House Project, the North American Bats and Mines Project, the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, Borderland Bats and conservation of bat colonies along the Texas-Mexico border, and the 692-acre Bracken Bat Cave and Nature Reserve near San Antonio.
The BCI Web site provides information about student research scholarships, funding for projects that most effectively aid North American bats, and grants for grassroots bat conservation efforts outside North America. The site also features answers to frequently asked questions about bats, species profiles, downloadable flyers, an archive of e-newsletters, an online photo library, a profile of the "flying foxes" that accompany BCI staff to educational programs, e-greeting cards, and related resources.
Bat Conservation International is supported primarily by foundation grants and individual gifts.