Proactive Conservation of the Endangered Hildegarde’s Tomb Bat from human persecution and habitat loss at the Kenyan Coastal areas
Due to cave closures, persecution, disturbances and habitat alteration, bats in unprotected caves on community lands at Kenya’s coast are facing an unprecedented decline. Although bats have long been persecuted due to cultural beliefs, this has lately intensified due to misinformed association of bats with COVID-19 exacerbating threats.
Emerging reports indicate that communities are closing caves, evicting and killing bats in a misguided belief to stop the spread of COVID-19. We aim to work collaboratively with communities to implement actions to stop persecution of this species in caves on unprotected community lands.
Through strategic education and awareness campaigns, we will limit community persecution of bats and establish community-roost sanctuaries. Our sustainable initiative will directly lead to immediate improvements to protect declining endangered species and other sympatric species and limit extinction risk.