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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EIN 74-2553144
512-327-9721
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Community Reviews

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

Bat Conservation International was originally founded to counter misinformation about bats. They have done an excellent job of education in the U.S. and around the world, saving unknown numbers of bats. Now, THE BATS REALLY NEED OUR HELP. There is a mysterious plague affecting bat colonies which is wiping them out at an alarming rate. Millions have died. The effect of no bats will be disaster for agriculture. Bats eat lierally tons of agricultural pests. With no bats, farmers will be using way more toxic pesticides instead, harming the environment even more. Bats are also important pollinators. Less bats = more pesticides = harm to beneficial organisms including bees (which also pollinate our crops). A vicious cycle which will have a very bad effect on our agricultural production and our environment--which ultimately affects us all.

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?

A lot

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?