I have been so wrapped up in my own drama, I have totally forgotten to even tell you about the big international conference I was organising during the last month for African Bat Conservation…
The aim of the conference was to provide a platform to talk about current issues bats are facing in Africa and how to mitigate conflicts that arise. African Bat Conservation / Conservation Research Africa, hosted a conference via Zoom, bringing together bat researchers from across Africa (Europe & the USA too) to discuss current issues and share information.
A variety of topics were presented at the conference, beginning with, bat welfare and ethics; human-bat conflict at roosts; implications of pest control methods used at bat roosts amongst others. We also conducted some simulations where participants were asked how to best plan mitigation for several case studies. The case studies included some from Malawi, including Angolan free-tailed bats (Mops condylurus) living in a healthcare building and Straw-coloured fruits bats (Eidolon helvum) living in Mahogany trees in the grounds of a large parish in a capital city.
Overall the day was a great success, but highlighted the need for more work and more networking and knowledge sharing between researchers and groups. The proposed outcome of the conference was to start an African bat working group who would come together to share information and improve protection for bats across Africa with the possibility of meeting a few times a year. We has lots of people interested in this, so keep your eyes peeled for more developments! Be sure to sign up to African Bat Conservations newsletter or Facebook page, for the latest updates 🙂