The Bat Conservation International (BCI) lauded the initiatives of Rotary Club of South Davao president Norma ‘Nomi’ Monfort to protect these shy mammals through the BATtle Cry: CPR Bats.
“CPR Bats” stands for “Conserve, protect, respect bats.”
Jon Flanders of BCI, in the weekly Kapehan sa Dabaw, said they now use the Philippines “as an example in Southeast Asia.”
Mylea Bayless of BCI added that they have been in constant collaboration with the Department of Environment Resources to promote biodiversity by protecting the bats. She said bats can also generate tourism once they are properly regulated and supervised.
“The key is to help people understand and appreciate the value of bats,” Bayless said.
“Once people are curious about bats, they appreciate what the bats do for their food supply, and how interesting and delicate they are, and how important they are to the Philippines and the people of Davao, I think they’ll become interested,” said Bayless.
Monfort said bats plays a key role in the ecosystem as they are major agents of reforestation and mitigation of the effects of climate change.
“The inextricable connection of the Samal Guinness World Record Holder to the mainland Region 11 has to be recognized,” Monfort added.
The Monfort Bat Colony in Samal landed in the Guinness annals as having the largest colony in the world with roughly 1.8 million Geoffroy’s Rousette fruit bats.
“Without bats, there will be no Kadayawan bountiful harvest. Without the bats there will be no durian,” she said.
“Bats are also critical for agriculture because of their pest control services, specifically rice in Asia. Recent research shows that the bats are eating the white planthopper and the brown planthopper, which are common pests for rice,” Bayless further explained.
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