From 21 to 25 October 2019, ten people participated in AfricanBats NPC introductory course. The course covered bat biology, ecology, conservation and identification, and was run by AfricanBats NPC director Ernest Seamark and Dr Teresa Kearney, Small Mammals Curator at Ditsong National Museum of Natural History. Ernest and Teresa’s expertise and passion, as well as engaging course content, brought out the charisma and individuality of each bat family.

A highlight was the handling and measuring of wet specimens, which allowed participants to get a sense of what some Southern African bats feel and look like ‘in the hand’, in preparation for handling live specimens, which are delicate and wriggly. Participants in the course consisted of a National Research Foundation intern, two photographers and research assistant from the National Science Collection Facility, which is part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute, and students from the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Viral Zoonoses and Centre for Wildlife Management. This showed the wide range of people interested in southern African bats and their conservation.

Some images from the training: