NASBR 2016 Keynote Message from Merlin Tuttle
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 5

NASBR 2016 Keynote Message from Merlin Tuttle PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Merlin's Keynote Message at the 46th Annual Symposium of the North American Society for Bat Research.Merlin provided perspective on bat conservation progress in America over the 46 years since annual meetings of North American bat researchers began in 1970. At that time most Americans had been led to believe that bats were little more than disease carrying, mostly rabid vermin, and frightened citizens were spending tens of millions of dollars annually hiring pest control companies to poison bats in buildings.

Download Presentation

NASBR 2016 Keynote Message from Merlin Tuttle

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Nasbr 2016 keynote message from merlin tuttle

NASBR 2016 Keynote Message from Merlin Tuttle

Source: www.merlintuttle.com/2016/10/22/nasbr-2016-keynote-message-merlin-tuttle

By Paula:

October 22, 2016

Merlin’s Keynote Message at the 46th Annual Symposium of the North American Society for Bat

Research

By Merlin Tuttle

22/10/2016

--------------------------------------

“Merlin provided perspective on bat conservation progress in America over the 46 years since annual meetings

of North American bat researchers began in 1970. At that time most Americans had been led to believe that

bats were little more than disease carrying, mostly rabid vermin and frightened citizens were spending tens of

millions of dollars annually hiring pest control companies to poison bats in buildings.”

Our early research objectives included studies documenting that scare campaigns by those profiting from

human fear were themselves posing the most serious threats to public health. We put fear in perspective,

showing that bats, in fact, have one of our planet’s finest records of living safely with people, documented


Nasbr 2016 keynote message from merlin tuttle

numerous values of bats, gradually overcame historic misperceptions and gained protection for thousands of

critical bat roosting habitats. As interest and appreciation of bats increased our group grew from 42 to over

400 participants, and we can now take great pride in many accomplishments.

Hundreds of thousands of Straw-colored fruit bats (Eidolon helvum) beginning their

evening departure from a city park in Ivory Coast, Africa. Cities often provide the only

homes safe from commercial hunters who sell these bats for human food. Despite large

numbers having been eaten, and having lived in close association with humans

throughout recorded history, they have caused no documented disease outbreaks. The

remarkable safety record of bats worldwide casts grave doubt on recent speculation of

their being dangerous carriers of deadly diseases.

Nevertheless, several alarming reversals are once again posing serious threats to bats and the ecosystems and

economies they protect. In North America alone, hundreds of thousands of bats are now being killed annually

at carelessly operated wind energy facilities that are rapidly expanding. Unfortunately, too many companies

are ignoring recent studies documenting how to dramatically reduce kills at minimal cost. Merlin stressed the

importance of partnering with concerned industry officials to rank companies based on their “green” records

in avoiding needless harm to bats. He reported willingness of “green energy” advisers to inform investors,

noting that through such collaboration, there is still hope for an improved future.

Merlin next focused on the extreme threat of white-nose syndrome (WNS), an introduced fungal disease that

has killed millions of cave-dwelling bats. Despite our best efforts it has spread rapidly from coast to coast. He

emphasized that it is now here to stay. It cannot be stopped or slowed, and we are unlikely to find a safe and

effectively applicable cure. There is no longer justification for disturbing bat hibernation sites, no matter how


Nasbr 2016 keynote message from merlin tuttle

well intended, just to check on WNS spread or impacts. Winter disturbance forces additional loss of already

depleted energy reserves and could become the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

The good news is that small, apparently resistant remnants of even the most seriously threatened species are

beginning to show signs of recovery. And given careful protection, there is hope for successful rebuilding of

resistant populations, as appears to have already occurred in Europe and Asia. The need for improved use of

non-invasive, active-season monitoring of status trends was also stressed.

Encouraging evidence indicates that even the little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), one

of the species most decimated by WNS, is beginning to successfully reproduce and

rebuild apparently resistant populations, as appears to have already occurred in Europe

and Asia. It’s time to give these tiny remnants the best possible protection from winter

disturbance.

Merlin’s greatest concern focused on the alarmingly pervasive resurgence of greatly exaggerated speculation

about the potential for bats to serve as reservoirs for so-called “emerging diseases.” He emphasized the

exceptionally poor science backing these already widely accepted claims. There have been too many attempts

to prove rather than test hypotheses, as well as cases of misinterpreting isolated correlations as causation

while ignoring large amounts of contradictory evidence. He also showed examples of subsequently

discredited speculation, published in leading journals, warning of their potential to reverse decades of

conservation progress, not to mention the credibility of science itself. For additional detail regarding this

newly emerging threat to bats, visit our Exaggerated Disease Warning Resource Page.

He next emphasized the power of research documenting bat contributions to human well-being and the need

to communicate such findings effectively to the public at large. He reminded young colleagues that most of

the world’s more than 1,300 bat species have barely been studied beyond being taxonomically described and


Nasbr 2016 keynote message from merlin tuttle

predicted exceptional opportunities for exciting discoveries. He especially mentioned potential discoveries

enhancing pest control, ecoservices, disease prevention and human longevity.

“Finally, Merlin provided an example of the economic impact of restoring just one large bat colony in Thailand.

Guano production for fertilizer rose from $12,500 in 1981 to $132,000 annually by 2002 and local control of rice

pests is now valued at $300,000 annually. He challenged colleagues to become more actively engaged in

sharing their findings from human-relevant research beyond their immediate colleagues and offered free use

of his large photo collection in support of such efforts.”

Despite early public health warnings of high disease risks, especially rabies, just by

posting small signs asking visitors not to handle the bats, millions of tourists have

watched the spectacular emergences of over a million free-tailed bats from the Congress

Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas for more than 35 years without a single instance of

anyone contracting a disease from a bat. The now beloved and protected bats consume

tons of crop and yard pests nightly and bring millions of tourist dollars each summer.

Worldwide, bats have one of our planet’s finest safety records when it comes to living

safely with people.

……………………………………………..

TAGS

bat . bat conservation . bats . conservation . keynote . merlin tuttle . merlin tuttle's bat conservation . research .

NASBR . bat research

……………………………………………..


Nasbr 2016 keynote message from merlin tuttle

Article Source: www.merlintuttle.com/2016/10/22/nasbr-2016-keynote-message-merlin-tuttle

Read More Stories: http://www.merlintuttle.com/news-blog/

___________________________________________________________________


  • Login