Like a wide range of other inhabitants of planet Earth, many bat species unfortunately find themselves on the endangered species list. Bats are at a distinct disadvantage, because many of them only birth one pup per year, which is quite low compared to other small mammals.
The Fijian free-tailed bat is just one species in particular that is being threatened right now.
Threat to the Fijian Free-Tailed Bats
Nakanacagi Cave is the only confirmed roost of this endangered species. It’s on Fiji’s second-largest island, and sadly, the cave and all these Fijian free-tailed bats are located directly beneath a road that’s used by heavily loaded logging trucks. To put it simply, these very heavy trucks are actually cracking or collapsing the walls of Nakanacagi Cave!
This location likely houses the only nursing cave for the free-tailed bat in Fiji, which means if this habitat is destroyed, the Fijian free-tailed bat will almost surely die out. Without increased public awareness and effort, destruction of this wonderful bat species is assured.
In addition to the logging traffic, there’s also the threat of consumption of the bats by the local population, a possible change in cave climate, and more. It’s clear that something needs to be done to save the Fijian free-tailed bats from extinction.
What Can You Do?
The question is, what can you do to help? Fortunately, there’s good news! Bat Conservation International (BCI) is working to sponsor a twelve-month campaign that will map the whole Nakanacagi Cave, research the Fijian free-tailed bat in its habitat, and investigate other possible roost sites that could house these bats if the Nakanacagi Cave should fail.
BCI is also planning to use this campaign to educate the people of Fiji about this species of bat, its valuable role as an insect eater, and the threats it faces as a critically endangered species. We agree with BCI when they say that knowledge is key to bat conservation.
Do you want to help? Head over to http://www.batcon.org/donate to donate. They are seeking just $10,000 for a few key things that will help the bats, including:
- on-site personnel
- public-education materials
If you act quickly and contribute to BCI, you can help save this rare, endangered colony of Fijian free-tailed bats! I hope you’ll all consider even a small donation to help out in this important effort. Every little bit makes a difference.
Your local bat removal expert,