Bats process and move massive amounts of nutrients through the ecosystem. They’re particularly critical in the reestablishment of clear-cut forests—almost all the plants that come up after a forest has been cut down are thanks to bats who dispersed those seeds.
So many species, so little information
PHOTO © Greater Good Charities
While bats are major players in every ecosystem where they live, we still don’t know a lot about them. So as we work to better understand and protect our planet, we need to better understand and protect bats. In the U.S., the two states with the greatest bat diversity are Texas and Arizona, with 28 and 29 bat species, respectively. One of the reasons why Vietnam is an ideal location for our Global Discovery Expeditions is that the country has more than 120 different bat species.
Up until now, we haven’t had a lot of information about most bat species, or even photos. So during a recent BioBlitz at the Sao La Nature Reserve, a key biodiversity spot in Vietnam, our biologists teamed up with Vietnamese scientists to change that.
How do you catch a bat?
|PHOTO © Greater Good Charities||PHOTO © Greater Good Charities|
The information and photos we gather are fed into the massive digital database, and they’re being used by the biologists on our team who are working on a book about the mammals of Vietnam.
By getting a close look at the bats in Vietnam we can get a much better idea of who they are and what we need to do to protect them – and share that knowledge with scientists, students, and enthusiasts worldwide who are working to understand – and celebrate – all that bats contribute to our ecosystems.