The 7th AfricanBats Bat Fieldworkers course was held from 23 November to 15 December 2019. With only single participant Ms. Eleanor Glass (University of Uppsala, Sweden) in the level 1 course, but Ms. Tosca Vanroy (Belgium) who attended the 6th fieldworkers course in 2018, assisted as a training mentor. Having Tosca back and having already gained the experience in handling bats she was exposed to more advanced techniques which would form part of a level II bat fieldworkers course in the future. Some interesting methods were developed to expose students to the use of implanting of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags into bats without having to use a bat. This is especially important so that students get familiar with the process, before moving onto implanting RFID tags into bats. Having two capable hands to a single student, development and experience was gained quickly – as the bats caught did not have to be divided up for processing. This allowed Eleanor to undertake a number of interviews with local landowners and staff on their perception of bats, which will form part of her Masters Degree.
Without the financial support of the Rufford Foundation and Brevard Zoo this course could not have been made possible. In addition, special thanks to Motjoli Resources for continue in allowing us the use of the facilities referred to as the Meletse Bat Research and Conservation Training Center.