We wish to extend a cordial invitation to you to participate in the 6th International Berlin Bat Meeting: The human perspective on bats to be held from 23rd to 25th March 2020 in Berlin, Germany.
Aim: With this conference, we would like to foster an exchange of ideas related to ‘human perspectives on bats’. We are especially keen on crossing disciplinary boundaries and hope that the discussion among bat biologists, social scientists, economists, ecologists, teachers, and conservationists will advance the field substantially. We suggest several exciting topics as sessions or workshops. In addition, we have invited plenary speakers to review novel applications and exciting developments in their respective research areas.
We have invited the following keynote speakers to provide insights into their respective fields of research
Prof. Dr. Rudolf de Groot on Ecosystem Services. Prof. Dr. de Groot is an associate professor in integrated ecosystem assessment and management with the Environmental Systems Analysis Group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
Prof. Dr. Heidi L. Ballard on Citizen Science. Prof. Dr. Ballard is an associate professor at the University of California, Davies, USA and Founder and Faculty Director of the Center for Community and Citizen Science.
Dr. Susan Tsang on Wildlife Trafficking . Dr. Tsang is a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of the Philippines and founder of the consulting company ‘Biodiversitas Global LLS’.
Dr. Kirsten Jung on Bats in Anthropogenic Landscapes. Dr. Jung is a research associate at the Institute Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics (Ulm University, Germany). Her research focuses on bats in anthropogenically altered habitats, particularly urban envivonments.
Dr. Tanja Straka on Human Dimensions of Bat Conservation and Management. Dr. Straka is a postdoctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, and a member of the International Association of Society and Natural Resources PD committee.
Dr. Jon Epstein on OneHealth: human and bat health. Dr. Epstein is vice president for science and outreach of EcoHealth Alliance in New York, U.S.A.
Dr. Diogo Veríssimo on Conservation Marketing. Dr. Veríssimo is an Oxford Martin Fellow at Oxford University, UK and former David H. Smith Research Fellows at the Johns Hopkins University and the NGO Rare.
Tentative list of sessions
Human Dimensions of Bat Conservation and Management
The study field ‘Human Dimensions of Wildlife (Management)’ investigates how humans feel and think about wildlife (management) as well as how people influence or are influenced by wildlife management decisions. This session highlights some of the commonly used theoretical or conceptual frameworks from the social sciences that can be used to shed light on generalities in human-bat conflicts and conservation. Further, we seek to present projects related to the human dimensions of bat conservation and management.
Bats provide important ecosystem services, such as consumption of (pest) insects, seed dispersal or pollination. These ecosystem services provided by bats are often investigated in agricultural or forested landscapes (e.g. pest insect control), while we still have little knowledge about them in other landscapes such as in urban areas (e.g. urban wetlands or community gardens). This session addresses the services provided by bats to people and ecosystems in different landscapes.
Killing, Culling, Hunting and Trading of Bats
Worldwide, humans kill bats for food, for trading, and as a result of perceived nuisance and conflict, resulting in potentially negative consequences for local bat populations. This session explores the current status of the killing, culling, hunting and trading of bats on a global scale.
Bats in Anthropogenic Landscapes
In the Anthropocene, bats - like most other animals worldwide - live in anthropogenically altered environments. Our understanding of why some bat species successfully adapt and survive in these altered habitats and why others do not is limited. This session addresses the current knowledge on bats in anthropogenic habitats, general trends, and explores next steps in studying the underlying mechanisms (e.g. morphological and behavioural traits) that enable certain bat species to successfully survive and thrive in the Anthropocene.
A variety of measures are implemented worldwide to mitigate and compensate threats to bats. Finding measures for bat conservation are also a crucial contribution to overall biodiversity conservation goals. However, while some of these measures prove to be efficient, others do not bring the expected outcome. Here we focus on these human interventions and aim to evaluate and gather measures that were shown to be effective when it comes to the protection of bats.
Bat Citizen Science Projects
Citizen science projects are increasing worldwide. This enables bat researchers to gather large sets of data while educating citizens in the process. Besides sharing lessons learned from bat citizen science projects, this session explores both sides: benefits of citizen science projects to bat conservation, and the impact of citizen science projects on people themselves.
Bats and Outreach: From Message Framing to Conservation Marketing
Bat outreach programs can be found worldwide; mostly with the aim to gain public acceptance toward bats and to promote bat conservation. Researchers increasingly explore how to effectively promote certain species, ranging from anthropomorphism, message framing, story-telling to conservation marketing. This session explores the state-of-the art knowledge of effective outreach strategies that can be useful for bat education.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Berlin in March 2020!
Christian C. Voigt, Tanja Straka and the batlab
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin