Flying foxes, commonly known as bats are the second most diverse and abundant of mammals with great physiological and ecological diversity.
Previously unknown to science and considered mysteries, bats play important ecological roles in seed dispersal and pollination, which help to maintain plant communities, and insect control, which limits the distribution and abundance of many pests responsible for spreading human diseases and causing significant economic damages to crops and livestock.
Unfortunately, despite their numerous benefits, poor understanding of their ecosystem benefits, along with negative perceptions and traditional beliefs have often resulted to habitat destruction and direct killing attempts at roost sites.
In 1995, the Tropical Biology Association hosted the first Zimbabwean in its field courses. Today some 15 Zimbabweans have benefited from the courses. This is however not enough given the large number of young Zimbabweans seeking practical training in conservation skills to make an impact in their motherland. It is through this realisation that the Zimbabwe TBA alumni decided to act.
In 2014, under the leadership of Kudzai Mafuwe, Joshua Tsamba and Edwin Tambara the group organised a networking event dubbed ‘enhancing capacity and building collaborations in conservation’. The event’s main objective was to launch the ‘Zimbabwe TBA Alumni group’ and initiate activities to increase the capacity of upcoming Zimbabwean scientists to effectively engage in conservation work especially in research. Continue reading “Fostering Collaborations for Biodiversity Conservation”