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Latin American Network for the conservation of bats founded at Tirimbina

Representatives from 11 Latin American countries assembled at Tirimbina Rainforest Center December 10-15, 2009 for the first meeting of the Latin American Network for the Conservation of Bats. Attendees came from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brasil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Peru and Mexico.

The meeting produced two primary outcomes. The first, the “Declaratory of Sarapiqui”, affirms the importance of ecosystem services provided by bats to both environmental and human welfare. It also outlines the main factors aversely affecting them, including lack of knowledge about them, habitat fragmentation and destruction of their shelters, the inappropriate use of toxic substances, and control programs misapplied to vampire bats.

The second major product of the meeting was an urgent “Latin American Strategy for the Conservation of Bats”, which delineates guidelines for working in Latin America to reduce the risk of extinction of bats. In addition, the conference produced the organizational structure of RELCOM (Latin American Network for the Conservation of Bats) for future regional efforts.


This conference was possible due to financial support from the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as the intense commitment and hard work of the participants. For the high-level researchers attending and for its results, this meeting was most certainly a historic event in the conservation of neotropical mammals. Tirimbina is proud to have been chosen as host.

By: Eugenia Cordero S
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