Not guilty! Study shows that Madagascan bats are unfairly persecuted for eating forbidden fruit

By Dr Radosoa A. Andrianaivoarivelo – Kibale 2004


Two of the three bats of Madagascar are categorized as endangered according to the IUCN red list, but all of them are heavily threatened by habitat loss and severe hunting. In some areas of Madagascar, they are considered as a threat to fruits of economic importance such as the lychee (Litchi chinensis) and the Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki) and are therefore persecuted in the trees where they feed at night (Andrianaivoarivelo et al. 2007). For these reasons, I led a research project on the dietary behaviors of the fruit bats to investigate whether they prefer food from natural habitats over alien, economically Important fruit species or vice versa (Andrianaivoarivelo et al. 2012).

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Securing drinking water in the face of urbanisation

By Kizito Masinde, Programmes  Officer, International Water Association – TBA Alumnus

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Many governments are faced with the challenge of providing safe and reliable drinking water to their citizens.This is especially caused by issues such as rapid urbanisation, increasing population and climate change. Many cities around the world currently rely on water supplies sourced from many kilometres away as the basins in which they lie cannot be relied upon to provide them with sufficient raw water supplies. At the International Water Association (IWA), we have taken note of this fact and have embarked on a series of programmes that support the mitigation of these risks, and also inspire a change in water use and management by turning this water crisis into a fundamental opportunity for a transformation towards more sustainable societies.

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Our month in pictures #May 2015

Everyday, we share interesting news and information on various conservation issues, including what we are doing at TBA, what our alumni are doing to address conservation challenges in different parts of the world and, their experiences in our training courses. Here are a few of our favourite pictures shared in May! Share your pictures with us, and while you are at it, follow us on facebook and twitter twitter!

Group photo of the participants
Participants at a CEPF grantee training in Mbeya, Tanzania
Course briefing
Course briefing by Dr. Rosie Trevelyan
Women in conservation
Women in conservation were well represented at the training workshop in                                                               Mbeya

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Highlights of the NTBA 5th Annual Biodiversity Conference – Day One

By Dr Folaranmi Babalola, TBA Alumni – Kibale 2003

Professor Jonathan Onyekwelu of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), gave the keynote address as the 5th Annual Biodiversity Conference by the Nigeria Tropical Biology Association (NTBA) got under way in Akure, Nigeria on 19th May 2015.

The Panel of High Profile speakers at the start of the conference
         The Panel of High Profile speakers at the start of the conference

With more than 50 participants attending the event, the conference aims to explore the role of multidisciplinary approaches in sustainable resource management, and further, how collective responsibility in resource use can be enhanced in Nigeria.

The day began with a series of high-profile speakers, led by Professor Shadrack Akindele of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT) at FUTA, and Joseph Onoja of the Nigeria Conservation Foundation.

Prof J.C. Onyekwelu delivering the keynote address
     Prof. Jonathan Onyekwelu   delivering the keynote                               address
Prof. Arayela, FUTA DVCA         officially opening the                           conference

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The Flying Foxes of Mombasa

By Njoroge Chege, TBA Alumni – Kibale 2012

Straw coloured fruit bats

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.

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Fostering Collaborations for Biodiversity Conservation

Enhancing capacity building
Enhancing capacity building

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”