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  

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: 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

 
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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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Rating: 5 stars  

Bat Conservation International members discover the world of bats--and how valuable bats are to the planet. From the magazine to the conservation projects it is evident that everyone at BCI cares about conservation and communication!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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