Bat Population Survey and Awareness Campaign
Subic Watershed and Forest Reserve is one of the few remaining undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forests in Luzon and serves as habitat for high diversity of wildlife species. The most prominent wildlife species that can be seen in SBFR are the bats or the flying foxes. A large roost of flying foxes composed of two species, Acerodon jubatus and Pteropus vampyrus are currently located adjacent to Subic Bay International Airport while, a small roost composed of Acerodon jubatus is located in Naval Magazine Area.
Flying foxes are only mammals capable of true flight. They are nocturnal animals and they travel to feed on fruits during the night. The average lifespan of flying foxes is up to 25-30 years. Others hibernate and stay on their roost especially when the mothers are nursing their young. These mammals are known to be one of the important agents of natural forest regeneration through flower pollination and seed dispersal. Unfortunately, these animals are endangered and hence need high degree of conservation.
In this regard, the Ecology Center proposes the Bat Population Survey activity dubbed as “Count me in”.
- Increase public awareness on the importance of flying foxes
- Encourage stakeholders participation in Bat Conservation Program
- To conserve the flying foxes and maintain the integrity of forest to sustain their population
- Determine an estimate of population of the flying foxes in SBFZ through exit count
- Determine other exit routes of the flying foxes that will serve as sampling locations
After the activity, the participants will be included in the list of the EC volunteer bat counters and will be contacted for periodic monitoring of the bats in SBFZ.
- Individuals or groups belonging to schools and SBF locators are invited to join the activity. Letter of invitation will be send to the target participants. (Participants should at least 12 years old)
- Registration will be done 1 month prior to the activity. 300 pesos will be collected to cover the expenses for the training and orientation seminar for the Bat Counting activity inclusive of T-shirt for the participants for the purpose of advertisement and awareness purposes.
- Registered participants will be oriented and trained on how to conduct the bat counting activity by the Ecology Center staff. Only those that passed the training will be allowed to participate in the “Count me in” Activity on November 10, and 11, 2011. Certificate of completion will be awarded to the participants that will pass and complete the training program.
- The bat counting activity will be facilitated by the Ecology Center and will be done at sampling stations designated by the EC. Ten (10) teams composed of 1 team leader – an EC staff and 5 members- each participant will do the bat counting on specified sampling locations. Data forms will be given to each of the team and this data will be collated by the EC personnel.