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).
By Kizito Masinde, Programmes Officer, International Water Association – TBA Alumnus
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 andclimate 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.
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!
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.
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.
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”