Help us Monitor Bats in the CoH WHS
The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (CoH WHS) is known for its world famous fossil sites. But this area is also home to many unique bats that use these caves and call them home. Some bats like the Natal Long-fingered Bat (Miniopterus natalensis) we know that they only use these caves in winter, and then travel to other caves to give birth. While other bats live out their whole lives within this area. – or so we think!
Very little is known about the biology and ecology of the bats that live in the CoH WHS. Currently we think that about 21 species may occur within the region– not all bats need caves to survive. Due to human expansion, much of the region is becoming urbanized – bring with it possibly new threats – light pollution, competition with other bat species (who live in rooves of houses and not caves).
This project aims to document what bat species currently occur in the CoH WHS area. Monitor trends in populations and distribution within the protected area. The unique echolocation calls recorded from released bats will be used to establish a localized call library. This library of calls will then be used to analysis trends in the bat populations in this protected area – with the aid of long-term bat detector stations.
This project does not stand-alone and forms part of a much larger vision and plan for the conservation of Africa’s bats (Bats in Protected Areas and Monitoring and surveillance programs). The information gathered from these bat detectors will also be fed into various student projects who can assist us in gain knowledge about these little studied mammals.
Webpage and booklet produced on the ‘Bats of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site’
Long-term echolocation monitoring stations deployed and data collected tracking trends in bat species populations.
The goal of this project is to document the bats that occur in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, with a longer term goal to purchase and deployment of a minimum of 3 bat detector stations ($1613 per bat detector station including solar, battery and water/animal proof housing) within the protected area.
Food for six persons in the field for 40 days $ 1,714
Transport (vehicle hire, fuel costs) – $9,642
Equipment (3 long-term bat detectors, animal proof casing) – $4,839