The Year of the Bat 2011-2012 campaign has kicked off today in Prague!
Backed by the United Nations Environment Programme, the campaign is led by the UN’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS).
Year of the Bat will draw attention to the world’s 1100 bat species – around half of which are currently at risk.
Charismatic animals like gorillas, tigers and elephants are often in the public eye. But many people are blind to the facts about bats. Bats can be beautiful, too, as the campaign will demonstrate during its two-year celebration.
Performing eco-services such as pollination, seed dispersal and insect control, mythical bats fly through the night almost everywhere on Earth.
Bats help sustain temperate forests throughout the world. They also replenish our treasured tropical rainforests. Aside from the forest, you will find bats in deserts, cities, mountains and seasides - everywhere but the Arctic and Antarctic, in fact.
Did you know that many delicious fruits and vegetables would not exist without bats? The next time you bite into a banana, peach, avocado, mango or fig, please thank the small and unappreciated bat who scattered the seeds or fertilized these flowering plants.
© Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org
The Year of the Bat will promote bat conservation, research and education, with a special focus on biodiversity and the ecological benefits that bats provide.
To learn more, visit the Year of the Bat website, http://yearofthebat.org/ - and check back soon for more fun facts about bats!