Important Areas and Sites for the Conservation of Bats

This initiative of RELCOM has become a must for the protection of bats populations and their habitats. Currently there are 34 areas recognized in 8 countries. All countries can establish SICOMs and AICOMs to promote conservation activities and legislation for bats and their habitats.

RELCOM recognizes the areas and sites provided they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Criteria 1. The area contains species of conservation concern either at a national or regional level.
  • Criteria 2. The area contains refuges used for one or more species of conservation concern.
  • Criteria 3The area contains a wealth of species, regardless of their level of threat.

RELCOM has recognized 1 AICOM and 1 SICOM on the island of Bonaire. The PPRABC , supported by RELCOM, Disney and Bat Conservation International keeps working to appoint a minimum of 1 AICOM and 1 SICOM on the islands of Aruba and Curacao.

 

Several years of effort  invested into mapping caves by the Natural and Historic Resources Unit of STINAPA Bonaire combined with 5 years of research on the dynamics of cave use by different species pf bats on Bonaire, have managed to create a commission to implement a Nature Reserve that includes the entire cave system of Bonaire with the main goal to protect bat populations while a recreational high quality product for cave tourism is offered to both residents and island visitors.

After 4 years of research on the dynamics of use of main caves by bats on Bonaire, The PPRABC through STINAPA Bonaire, has managed to obtain the permission from the Island Government to close the main maternity caves of the island. This is a complex work that must be carried out with the thoroughness of a scientific experiment to avoid disturbance in the shelter that could make the bats abandon the cave.

In the islands of Aruba and Curacao bars had been installed in some of the main maternity caves, however the lack of implementation of a management plan coupled with the lack of resources does not allow the constant monitoring and these bars are frequently broken. PPRABC together with CARMABI in Curacao and Arikok National Park in Aruba are seeking for solutions to this situation.