CMS Family Attends International Bat Research Conference

Bonn, 1 August 2016 - The 17th  International Bat Research Conference is being held in Durban, South Africa. It started yesterday and ends on 5 August. The conference will provide a platform for scientific exchange between bat researchers. On this occasion, the CMS Family will be represented by EUROBATS. Rodrigo Medellín, the CMS COP-Appointed Councillor for Neotropical Fauna and bat expert will participate as well.

At the annual conference bat researchers have the opportunity to establish new networks and strengthen existing cooperation. New technical devices and solutions for bat conservation will be presented. One session will focus specifically on the conservation of migratory bats. Rodrigo Medellín, will chair the session “Bats without borders: overview of the status and protection of migratory bats”. It will also consider global, continental and regional human-induced threats to migratory bats.

In the interview below, Rodrigo Medellín explains some of the major threats to the animals. Humans misconceive bats as being dangerous, which often triggers attacks on the animals and their habitats. This is only one example of a range of threats. And yet, humans are largely unaware that they benefit from bats more than from any other group of animals. These flying mammals provide three vital ecosystem services: pest control, seed dispersal and pollination.

In Africa, where the conference will take place, Flying Foxes have a significant impact on the functioning of ecosystems. Rodrigo Medellín looks forward to exchanging information with African experts on this species that migrates from every corner of Africa to Kasanga National Park in Zambia in numbers that reach as many as 25 million in the case of Flying Foxes.

Last updated on 24 November 2016

News item
South Africa
Habitat loss and degradation
Energy production and mining
Logging and unsustainable harvesting
Human Disturbance
Species group: 
Terrestrial mammals