Bat Conservation and Research in Cuba

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About

The few caves here are home to the 5 species of bats of Varadero. Our partner is involved in several scientific studies of the bats to better understand their numbers, distribution, behaviour and biology and how the bat populations are affected by habitat loss, drought, disease and other stressors. Field research is conducted at the caves in Varadero, along with a few others in the province of Matanzas. Bats are captured in nets, examined, tagged and measured before being released. Working on an ecological reserve also provides the opportunity to educate the public about bats, and wildlife conservation.

This community used to not pay attention to their bats, now with 2 expedition teams visiting them every year they are getting excited about these pollinators, too! In 2014 they had their first bat appreciation festival! Our teams aren't just civilian scientists, they are also bat advocates!!

Highlights
  • Hands on work with bats, our volunteers handle more than 300 bats during the expedition.
  • You are part of a small group so training is almost one-on-one.
  • You volunteer with Cuban bat scientists, without your help with data collection they have less or no data to better understand bats.
  • No experience required, we train you on the ground.
  • Be the first person you know to see these endangered animals up close.

Impact

Our partner is addressing issues head on. Their organization focuses on studying the bats, implementing conservation actions, and teaching the importance of protecting bats to schools, tourists and the general public. They even run annual Bat Festivals to get the general public motivated and involved in bat conservation. When you participate in this expedition, you will gain hands-on experience working in the field with bat biologists. You will be exposed to the ins and outs of field research and conservation efforts and you will become more comfortable working around bats and handling them. Understanding and appreciating bats is an essential first step to ensuring their conservation.

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