Welcome to Year of the Bat 2011 - 2012

Year of the Bat is sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS). Please join us today in promoting bat conservation, research and education around the globe.

Friday, February 18, 2011

All together now: Year of the Bat 2011 - 2012

Year of the Bat continues to fly high in Latin America! In addition to RELCOM's extensive network and our original partners in Panama, Columbia and Argentina, Year of the Bat is pleased to welcomed to welcome new partner organziations in Bolivia, Mexico and Brazil.

In these days of globalization, when all are concerned about global climate change, transgenic organisms, and violence, it is important to get back into reality and in contact with the natural world. Bats, the cosmopolitan group of flying mammals that is also the most ecologically and morphologically diverse mammalian order, provide a wonderful opportunity to integrate all humans around the planet in a global effort to protect and recover biological diversity, as well as to educate the world’s population about these extraordinary animals that have very deep, crucial links to our well-being and contribute significantly to a high-quality standard of living. No other group of animals is so unfairly treated in the world, given their very beneficial impact on both natural ecosystems and human life.

© Nick Edards
It is here, in the context of the mistreatment of bats and their unjustified destruction around the world, that our influence and actions as bat professionals and bat conservationists are most urgently needed. Many of us have been working hard for up to several decades to protect bats. It is now, with the platform of the Year of the Bat, that we all finally have the opportunity to join forces across countries, continents, and species, together with other individuals and organizations who share our concern, our passion, and our goals.

This initiative is opening doors and crystallizing efforts around the world. In September 2010, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species and the Agreement of the Conservation of Populations of European Bats launched Year of the Bat 2011 - 2012. The global awareness-raising species campaign, which is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme, will promote bat conservation, research and education about the world’s only flying mammals.  With the backing of founding campaign partners including Bat Conservation International, the Lubee Bat Conservancy and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Year of the Bat will focus public attention on the key role bats play in global eco-systems, such as rainforests.

© Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org
With regional partners in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa, the Year of the Bat will also address misperceptions about bats and encourage organizations, governments and individuals to get involved in bat conservation efforts. The Year of the Bat is pleased to have the support of RELCOM as a strategic partner for the campaign. Partners are also already planning Year of the Bat activities in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panamá, Venezuela, and many other countries.Other regions in the world are similarly working to promote the conservation of bats. Through information exchange, cross-continent collaboration, and integrated global efforts, our success to protect bats and improve their image will surely be achieved. We have a golden opportunity to act as a team, help bats, and have a decisive positive impact on behalf of bats. As you consider what your activities will be for Year of the Bat, some options may include:
  • Offering courses and workshops on bat ecology, conservation, rehabilitation
  • Printing posters, children’s storybooks, stickers, fieldguides
  • Giving lectures, visiting schools, talking to decision makers about the need to incorporate bats into management plans and other conservation actions.
Many more actions can and certainly will be carried out. We have a chance to make the Year of the Bat into the turning point we have all been fighting and working for for decades. It is waiting for us around the corner. Let’s work all together now.
Reprinted in English from the Latin American Network for Bat Conservation (RELCOM) autumn 2010 bulletin. To read the original article and other RELCOM news in Spanish, please visit the Year of the Bat website. Many thanks to Year of the Bat Ambassador Dr. Rodrigo Medellin for highlighting the beneficial impact of bats and the opportunity to join hands across borders to bring new attention to bats and act now for bat conservation.


  1. I love this blog and was so pleased to find it. As part of my attempted contribution for the Year of the Bat I started my own blog about bats. I am hoping to just talk about bat-related things that interest me and what it is like to do bat research. Right now I think the think may be the most important is to keep a list of activities people can do near them to learn about or help bats. For this I will definately be comming back to this blog as well as the Year of the Bat website! Thanks for doing this! I really enjoy the suggestions and information on your blog!

  2. Here is a photo montage video on Bats by me.
    Hope you all enjoy this!