For Immediate Release
Bat Conservation Receives International Support
MANILA (October 27, 2017) – At the Twelfth Conference of the Parties, the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) has adopted Peru’s proposal to list four species of migratory bats in Appendix II of CMS. Appendix II includes migratory species that the international community agrees have an unfavorable conservation status that would benefit from international cooperation for their conservation and management.
Alejandra Goyenechea, senior international counsel for Defenders of Wildlife, said:
“Peru is taking the lead on bat conservation at the international level. By adopting bat protections at the domestic level and appealing to the international community to collaborate on the next step, they’re sending a clear message: bats need our help, and Peru is stepping up to the plate. The CMS community supports this initiative, which will both help advance the fight against climate change and protect bats for generations to come.”
Dr. Erin Baerwald, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Regina, said:
“International collaboration is crucial if we want to protect wide-ranging species that do not understand geopolitical boundaries. This listing will promote regional cooperation and help ensure the cumulative impacts of wind energy development are considered. It’s an important move in our efforts to protect these incredible animals.”
Dr. Rodrigo Medellin, scientific councillor of the CMS and co-chair of the IUCN Bat Specialist Group, said:
“This is a great step forward to make the greenest of our available energy sources even greener. Bats are crucial for our well-being as humans and for ecosystems, and this proposal gets the best of two worlds: conserving bats and improving the ways we generate wind energy.”
- The listing will require the countries Party to the CMS in which the bats live to incentivize regional cooperation to improve national, regional and international safeguards necessary to protect these species throughout their ranges.
- The hoary, eastern red, southern red and southern yellow bat are all solitary, tree-roosting, insectivorous and migratory species that occur from northern Canada through Argentina.
- These bats are facing serious threats from climate change, habitat loss, pesticide use and, most pressingly, wind energy development. Approximately 60% of the several hundred thousand bats killed by wind turbines across Canada and the United States every year belong to one of these four species.
- The Peruvian government stated during its presentation that wind energy is crucial in the fight against climate change, and that this inclusion will facilitate the implementing conservation and mitigation measures without impacting the development of wind energy development. The listing will also encourage responsible wind energy development that will not interfere with migratory bat conservation efforts.
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