Protect Negros bats – conservationists

Posted by watchmen
August 7, 2018



Wildlife conservationists called for the protection of bats in Negros Occidental during a press conference in Bacolod City yesterday.

Representatives from the Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Union (SEABCRU), Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Incorporated and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources were in the city to attend the 4th International Southeast Asian Bat Conference held at L’Fisher Hotel.

Dr. Paul Racey said bats are a “major component” in every country’s biodiversity.

They perform very important services for the ecosystem – like pollination, seed dispersion and pest control – Racey added.

These “bat services” will help boost local economy, especially in communities reliant to farming.

Racey said guano, or the bat excrement, can be used as a natural fertilizer.

Around 30 percent of the world’s bats are found in Southeast Asia, said Dr. Tigga Kingston, an associate professor from Texas Tech University, citing SEABCRU’s studies.

She added that 79 out of 379 bat species are found in the Philippines.

But Kingston said Southeast Asian bats are in trouble due to destruction of forests and caves, competition for resources with humans and poaching.

The conservationists also debunked the bats’ association with witchcraft, urging the public to treasure and cherish their presence in the community./DGB, WDJ

Wildlife conservationists called for the protection of bats in Negros Occidental in a press conference in Bacolod City yesterday, August 6. (Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga photo)


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