Bat Conservation Initiative
Across the Paso del Istmo biological corridor, at least 100 species of bats perform ecosystem services ranging from pollination to pest control. We are working to understand bat populations and the ways they contribute to ecological health and to Nicaragua's agricultural sector.
Working with Carol Chambers, a bat biologist from Northern Arizona University, Bat Conservation International, and bat researchers from all over the world, we are studying bat populations in fragmented landscapes in order to strengthen our conservation efforts in Nicaragua. Thanks to Carol, the number of known species in Nicaragua went from 44 when we started to 100.
Two of Professor Chambers' students, Jose Gabriel Martinez and Marlon Chaves, are in the field, placing and monitoring AnaBat devices across the landscape, and recording bat activity. (An anabat is a monitoring system which detects and analyzes bats' echolocation calls.) Thanks to the mentorship of Chambers, Kim Williams-Guillén, and Arnulfo Medina, these budding conservation scientists are at the cornerstone of our commitment to build local capacity to study and protect bats, crucial to the ecosystems and agricultural economy of Central America.
We're also getting ready to conduct a study to value the ecosystem services of bats. Dr. Williams-Guillén will work with insect taxonomists and environmental economists to design the study which will combine the demographic data provided by Anabat devices with information revealed through DNA barcoding of insects from feces to better understand the impact of bats on pests.
As with all our initiatives, we are combining scientific research and conservation efforts with community outreach. Professor Chambers contributed to our environmental education curriculum with a nighttime bat workshop for school children in Ostional. With the support of Bat Conservation International, our bat conservation campaign will include additional workshops and learning materials for school children as well as agriculture agents.
Support Our Studies of Nicaraguan Bats with a Donation.
We're grateful to Bat Conservation International for helping to make this project possible.
Check back for a full list of bat species identified by researchers in the Paso del Istmo.
Follow our bat blog.
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© 2006 Paso Pacífico