Date Posted: October 22nd, 2012
This year, 2012, is the Year of the Bat. The Year of the Bat is a global species awareness initiative initiated by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS).
Many people do not realize how important bats are for Africa. Africa without the iconic baobab tree is inconceivable. Yet without bats as their main pollinators, the baobab and many other species of trees and plants would simply cease to exist. Bats also help reforestation by spreading digested seeds. In addition, bats act as agents of biological pest control. Bat colonies can contain thousands of bats, and each animal can eat up to its own weight in insects every night. This considerably reduces populations of mosquitoes and agricultural pests, thereby improving rural livelihoods. Especially on the African continent, bats play a significant role in reducing malaria. But despite all their usefulness, many people still think of bats as evil or as pests − and persecute them as a result.
Farm Radio International wants to feature the Year of the Bat in its resources for broadcasters, and to educate the public on the economic and ecological benefits of these misunderstood and maligned creatures. However, we need to raise funds to pay African journalists to research the bat situation in Africa, then publish and distribute radio scripts and news stories about the Year of the Bat.
To learn more and to find ways to help, please visit our friends at CMS and EUROBATS at http://www.yearofthebat.org/
Visit the Farm Radio International support and donation page at http://donate.farmradio.org/