An overview : the North American Bats and Mines Project Watkins, Faith
Bat Conservation International (BCI) and the United States Bureau of Land Management founded the North American Bats and Mines Project in 1993 to provide national leadership and coordination to minimize the loss of mine-roosting bats. BCI utilizes a cooperative and non-confrontational approach to resolving natural resource management conflicts and builds partnerships between public and private interest. Our mining industry initiative, Mining for Habitat, is designed to develop bat habitat conservation and enhancement plans for active mining operations. BCI is helping mining companies and federal and state agencies to conduct bat surveys, protect important bat roosts, and conduct research that will have direct management implications. Inactive underground mines now provide an essential habitat for more than half of North America's 45 bat species, including some of the largest remaining populations and all those listed as endangered. As primary predators of night-flying insects that cost American farmers and foresters billions of dollars annually, threats to bat survival are cause for serious concern. Closure of abandoned mines without first conducting biological surveys could endanger even currently abundant species. Fortunately, cost-effective mine closure methods exist that protect both bats and humans.
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