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Help us tackle negative perceptions of bats in Africa and protect them from persecution by supporting our education programme

B. E. E. P.

Bat Environmental Education Project 

Bats are incredible and important animals, they help control insects that can damage crops and cause human health issues, as well as being excellent pollinators and seed dispersers. Bats are very vulnerable and need our help! Bats face many threats, such as habitat destruction, pesticide use, roost disturbance and destruction, climate change impacts and human persecution. We urgently need to educate people so they know how important bats are, the threat they face and how we can work together to help bats. We cannot do this without your help, this is an opportunity for you to help us partner with environmental education centres across southern Africa to share resources and knowledge to change attitudes towards these amazing creatures and develop bat ambassadors to help safeguard their future!

A bit about us…
Bats without Borders (BwB) is a small UK registered charity (SCIO SC044185) dedicated to conserving bat populations and their habitats across southern Africa through education, capacity building, applied research and conservation advocacy. 

Why we think bats are brilliant and this project is so important?
Did you know roughly 25% of all mammal species on Earth are bats, and they are the only flying mammal? Southern Africa has 120+ species, and these unique mammals are important for ecosystem health and function. Bats are important pollinators, seed dispersers and insect predators! Over 300 plants are pollinated by bats. The majority of bats are insect eaters and consume a staggering number of insects, such as stink bugs which are a macadamia pest species and mosquitoes. Some researchers estimate that pregnant bats eat their body weight in insects per night.

Why bats need our help?
Around a quarter of all bat species globally are threatened by direct or indirect human activity and misinformation, fears and myths have sadly left bat conservation far behind many other animal groups and are afforded little to no environmental protection across Africa. Bats generally only have one pup a year so are relatively slow at reproducing compared to other small mammals.

Across southern African bats are faced with a range of increasing threats, such as habitat loss – deforestation, land conversion to farming, pollution, pesticide use, roost disturbance and destruction, climate change impacts, urbanisation and direct persecution with bats being killed due to fear and myths or fumigated in buildings. Unfortunately, across Africa bats have little to no protection and lack of understanding and fears have resulted in bats being killed needlessly. Currently, despite no pesticides being licensed for use on bats we regularly get reports of bats being fumigated or killed using other inhumane methods and are often maternity colonies.

One of the biggest challenges facing bat conservation is changing negative public perceptions, driven by fear and misunderstanding that lead to lack of conservation action and in some cases bats being persecuted. Environmental education is one of the most effective tools in conservation and vital in changing public attitudes towards bats and other wildlife using interactive and engaging resources. Outreach and public engagement is key to any successful and sustainable conservation project, this project aims to create bat conservation educational materials for students and provide trainers with a detailed handbook to help guide lessons and arm trainers with additional information needed to support enquiring minds!

Photos: education and public engagement activities being carried out in Namibia and Zambia

What your generous donation will help us achieve
As a charity, we need your help to create the first southern African wide education project to engage people about the wonderful and important world of bats, the threats they face and what we can do to conserve them. We really do need your help to get this important project up and running to begin the challenge of changing attitudes towards bats and in doing so securing a future for southern African bats. We are partnering with environmental education centres in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia to trial a ‘bat education box’.

Your funding will go directly towards the costs to design and deliver educational materials to seven environmental education centres, and provide training to environmental centre staff. Your donation will enable each centre to run inspiring and engaging bat conservation sessions with students! Once these resources have been trialled we’ll be getting valuable feedback from students and environmental centre staff to update and improve these resources before rolling out a larger project.

We are delighted that one of these centres we’ll be working with, is an education centre based within Kasanka National Park, in Zambia – home to the largest fruit bat roost in the world and the world’s largest terrestrial mammal migration, with a whopping 10 million fruit bats arriving in October each year.

Photo: straw-coloured fruit bats in a tree roost at internationlly renowned Kasanka National Park

 Photo: Kasanka National Park Education Centre

 In order to get this exciting project started we need to raise £3,200. This funding will be used to:

  1. create engaging educational resources with creative artwork and activities designed increase bat and wildlife conservation;
  2. develop a trainer’s workbook with additional information to help guide lessons and answer questions;
  3. distribute the education packs to our environmental education centre partners;
  4. provide these resources free of charge to other bat ecology and conservation educators via the Bats without Borders website; and
  5. evaluate the resources using feedback from students and trainers to enable us to further develop and improve resources before extending this project.

The timeframe for delivering this project

Jul – Sep 2017 :  Develop educational materials in partnership with Mammal Next Door

Oct – Dec 2017 :  Deliver educational packs to environmental centres develop KidZone on Bats without Borders website for individuals, researchers and educators to have access to free online resources.

Jan – May 2018:  Run educational activities and collect feedback on resources and other materials

Jun – Aug 2018:  Collate and review feedback from students and trainers and update and review educational materials

How will your individual donation help us?

£10   will  buy story books about bats to inspire young learners

£20   will  buy a Fairtrade football to help our young learners understand echolocation

£40   will create an educational activity getting our learners thinking about the life of bats and the habitats they live in

£50   will create a new bat character for our children’s workbook to help education learners about the secret world of bats

£100  will buy a children’s bat detector so the young learners can ‘eavesdrop’ on bats

£250  will  deliver the resources and train the environmental education centre staff

£350   will cover the printing costs for our educational workbooks
 

If your donation is a gift to someone please e-mail info@batswithoutborders.org with the information and we will gladly send you / nominated person a thank you certificate.

To find out more about the work we do, please visit www.batswithoutborders.org. You can also follow us on FaceBook, Twitter or LinkedIN.

Make a difference

We need to raise £3,200 to start this important project! If we do not hit our target, we will scale back the project slightly to include fewer environmental education centres but will still be able to create the resources, provide them free of charge online and trail them at some of the environmental education centres and evaluate both the students’ resources but also the trainer handbook. If we are lucky enough to be over-funded, we will use the extra funding to spend more time on trainer training or expand the project to one or more environmental centres.

How success will be measured

Students will be given a pre- and post-activity questionnaire for us to measure changes in not only attitudes but also knowledge of bats and conservation for us to better understand what the young people are taking away from the lessons. We will also be getting feedback from the educators (environmental centre staff) on the activities as well as and the trainer handbook to improve and further develop these resources.

Ask a question

Find us in southern Africa (Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe)

Donation Summary

Total Raised

£1206

Online Donations

£1038

Offline Donations

£168

Your comments

  • Paul Bates 29 June 2017 Reply
    Good luck with the crowd funding and with the fantastic project. Paul B.
    • Reply by Bats without Borders 29 June 2017
      Thank you very much Paul for your generous donation and words of encouragement!
  • Keith 5 June 2017 Reply
    What an awesome project. All the very best with it. K
    • Reply by Bats without Borders 6 June 2017
      Thank you very much Keith!
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  • 5 Jun 2017

    Campaign started

Bats without Borders

Charity Reg No: SCO044185

Bats without Borders is a not-for-profit organisation working across southern Africa to conserve bat populations and biodiversity by engaging with children, adults, students, researchers, communities, decision makers, conservationists, land managers, agricultural industry and private and public institutions. Bats provide vital ecosystem services that are important for people and ecosystem health. Bats can eat huge quantities of insects, included on their menu are mosquitoes and some important agricultural insect pests. In addition to being major insect predators, bats are also important seed dispersers and pollinators. Bats globally have been declining at alarming rates over the last 20 years and our knowledge of southern African species is limited meaning we are unable to monitor population trends. In order to help our important allies we are committed to: support and conduct applied research; advocate for conservation action; facilitate capacity building; and education and public engagement to promote a positive attitude towards bats.

Contact charity

Donations

£1206 donated of £3200 target
35 donors

Funding will be used to create engaging and inspiring environmental materials and trainer training.

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