SA Hunters and Game Conservation signed an agreement with AfricanBats NPC to collaborate on bat conservation in South Africa as part of SA Hunters’ Working Wild Programme. The Working Wild Programme advances worthwhile conservation initiatives through partnerships with like-minded organisations and conservation programmes by mobilising its members to support and participate in these initiatives.

According to Ernest Seamark, CEO of AfricanBats NPC, bats make up a quarter of the mammalian diversity on the planet. South Africa is home to approximately 72 species of bats with more than 25% occurring in urban areas. The positive role bats play in our ecosystem is poorly understood by most people. Bats are susceptible to environmental change and vulnerable to increased pesticide levels.

Bat species that eat insects are primarily nocturnal predators. Researchers have found that they can play a significant role in reducing the costs of pest control in Macadamia nut plantations and in other agricultural industries. Fruit-eating bats are critical for forest regeneration and at least one of South Africa’s iconic tree species.

Through this initiative, members of the 80 branches of SA Hunters situated hroughout South Africa will be encouraged to participate in structured bat conservation initiatives lead by experts from AfricanBats NPC. Areas identified for further collaboration include raising public awareness on bats, mapping and surveying bat colonies and facilitating research on bats.

According to Lizanne Nel of SA Hunters, this agreement between SA Hunters and AfricanBats NPC is the first in a series of initiatives planned by the organisation to improve its impact on conservation. – Press release