6th International Berlin Bat Meeting: The human perspective on bats


Dear Colleagues,

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.

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.

Ecosystem Services

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.

Bat Health and Human Health (One Health)

Diseases caused by pathogens may extirpate local bat populations as exemplified by the fungal pathogen causing White-Nose Syndrome in North America. However, pathogens are not only a risk to bats, but bat originated pathogens may pose a threat to humans as well. This session addresses research on bat health from a conservation perspective but also from the health perspective of humans when it comes to bats.

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

Bats live in urban areas worldwide. However, our understanding of why some bat species successfully adapt and survive in the urban environment and why others do not is limited. This session addresses the current knowledge on bats in urban areas, 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 urban environment.

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 team
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin