Bat Conservation International, Inc.

Rating: 4.76 stars   21 reviews

Issues: Animals, Environment

Location: PO Box 162603 Austin TX 78716 USA

Mission: Bat Conservation International’s mission is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems in order to ensure a healthy planet.
Programs: Bracken Cave in the Texas Hill Country is the home of the world’s largest mammal colony—twenty million Mexican Free tail bats migrate to the site every year. Bracken Cave is on BCI-owned property and access has been limited to research staff and VIP guests for decades. The site is featured in the National Geographic documentary Strange Creatures Of The Night, the National Geographic’s Kids website and was the focus of a Kratt Brothers “Be the Creature” episode.  The Nature Conservancy identifies Bracken Cave as the world’s largest colony of mammals and the director of Boston University’s Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology calls Bracken Cave “one of the great wonders of the world.”   Bracken Cave is a maternity colony, one of the safe havens for these bats to have their single pup each summer. Adult bats weigh no more than two quarters and yet they are capable of flying at great altitude and traveling long distances. Seen individually, each bat is a marvel of engineering--and quite appealing with soft fur and tiny ears. Bears, eagles and buffalo are iconic American mammals, but a visit to Bracken inspires guests to add bats to the list.    

Bracken’s acres are gradually becoming a showplace of natural, Hill Country habitat in the midst of suburban development, and the millions of young bats at Bracken will benefit from having the best conditions possible as they first learn to fly and feed. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we have developed a comprehensive plan for habitat restoration and management. This plan is based on decades of combined experience, including three years of on-site experimentation in which restoration approaches (and the cost and feasibility of volunteer and contracting options) have been tested. Decades of fire prevention and overgrazing have allowed an unnatural proliferation of ashe juniper which increasingly deprives young bats of required feeding opportunities and threatens the reserve’s diverse wildlife. Surrounding lands are being engulfed by urban sprawl, contributing to the urgency of our restoration efforts.

While the day to day work of clearing juniper isn’t glamorous—the wildflowers that are flourishing in the open spaces are quite spectacular.   The re-establishment of native grasses, oaks, and wildflowers in a mosaic of habitats throughout the Bracken Nature Reserve property is most notable in the springtime. Some of the native species of flowers and grasses we have planted at Bracken probably haven’t been seen in this part of the hill country in decades. Habitat restoration and management is a long-term and costly commitment, but one that is vital to protecting our planet’s largest remaining community of mammals.    Bracken’s acres are gradually becoming a showplace of natural, Hill Country habitat in the midst of suburban development, and the millions of young bats at Bracken will benefit from having the best conditions possible as they first learn to fly and feed. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we have developed a comprehensive plan for habitat restoration and management. This plan is based on decades of combined experience, including three years of on-site experimentation in which restoration approaches (and the cost and feasibility of volunteer and contracting options) have been tested. Decades of fire prevention and overgrazing have allowed an unnatural proliferation of ashe juniper which increasingly deprives young bats of required feeding opportunities and threatens the

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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Working at BCI and I cannot say enough about what a great organization it is--we really do work so very hard to protect the bats of the world--mostly by engaging local support. When communities everywhere discover the VALUE and VULNERABILITY of bats, they become bat conservationists.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

put up billboards all over the world showing how beautiful bats are when you see them!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Bat Conservation International is an amazing place to work. The staff cares deeply about programming, our partners around the world are amazing, and the wildlife professionals we work witn across the USA are doing such important work in National Parks, National Forests, Tribal Nations, and many other wild spaces.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

They are a wonderful group of bat experts from around the world that work together to help conserve bats. They offer training programs and grants to help bats. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department stated they are bats experts. BCI and Fish & Wildlife Services are currently the two main bat expert groups who are helping bats with White Nose Syndrome.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

It is so important to publicize the plight of bats. They are not only wonderful creatures, but very important to our ecosystem.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 2 stars  

I joined BCI in the mid nineties and they were wonderful back then and for many years. Their work was commendable and I always knew where my money was going when Merlin Tuttle was at the helm. However, I have not seen the same leadership or quality of work since his departure. I hope this changes in the near future. It would be a shame to see Tuttle's amazing life work, and all the good he did for bats, go the way of fat pay checks for staff now. Very disheartening.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

BCI was the first international organization helping bats and works in a broad spectrum of ways to protect them through education, research, fundraising, conservation efforts and acting as an information clearing house, among other activities. I have always found this organization to be ambitious, reliable and effective. This is a crucial go-to resource for anyone interested in bats and I refer people to their website regularly. I have found their personnel to be helpful, knowledgeable and courteous. This organization gets an A+ in my book, and for that reason, I donate as much as I can to them and have done so for many years. Thank you for the great and important work. Keep at it as bats are the most crucial of creatures.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

Love their work. My one comment for staff: wish you were better at thanking people... I did a birthday fundraiser that raised almost $1000 which I then matched, and I got a form letter almost 4 months later, nothing else. A small thing, but it mattered to me how hard I worked to get that gift; it should matter to your development staff, too.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

thank you bat conservation for showing the world that bats ARE beautiful ♥
the world of bats
to some so strange
a world of fear
a world deranged
but in the dark
can you see
what they consider
familiarity
as it glows and leads
the way
so they can be bats
another day
and help us humans
as they play♥

Bats are beautiful when you know how to see them♥ karen lyons kalmenson

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Bat Conservation International is an evidence-based, highly effective organization working to halt the destruction of bats by habitat loss, environmental damage, and ignorance. Their research and educational activities are desperately needed now that chemically-dependent agriculture is failing so spectacularly and mosquito-borne diseases are spreading further and further from the equator.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a member of the Bat conservation Trust and a bat carer with my local bat group, i am well aware of the problems facing about a quarter of all bat species worldwide. The greatest number of species live near to the equator, where they face the greatest threat, destruction and fragmentation of their habitats and overhunting by humans who are ignorant to their status and importance.. Bat Conservation International does a fantastic job in many countries that have little in the way of local groups dedicated to conservation. They help local groups to educate people about the importance of bats and to gather important data about the distribution of species that we know next to nothing about. Without Bat Conservation International many people accross the world would remain ignorant of the wonder and importance of these much misunderstood creatures. With education comes understanding and ultimately a new generation of humans dedicated to helping bats to survive.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

There is just something special about organizations which care about the least among us or those that others may ignore. Bat Conservation International, Inc. does such a wonderful job of letting the public know how important bats are to us and why they are as deserving of our love and protection as any other animal. I applaud their efforts and support them. I have to admit I was a big vampire fan so I was always fond of bats, but understanding the real plight of these maligned creatures has made me even more concerned for their survival.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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