Bat Care Guidelines – Help us save bats
This is an opportunity for you to help us produce the 2nd edition of the Bat Care Guidelines. This important resource will enable us to share knowledge and best practice principles with bat carers, wildlife rescue centres and veterinary professionals.
Why is this important? Why bats?
The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) is the only national organization solely devoted to conserving bats and their habitats.
BCT’s National Bat Helpline provides advice and awareness about bats to a variety of people ranging from households that have discovered bats roosting in their house through to members of the public who find injured or orphaned bats. Annually 20% of calls relate to bats in distress and at our peak in the summer we help an average of 250 individual bats a week!
In the UK we are very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers who can collect and care for injured and grounded bats; there is a fantastic Bat Care Network with contact details for over 300 volunteer bat rehabilitators. These individuals kindly give up their time and resources to take care of and rehabilitate bats that have been found orphaned, injured or in poor condition. They have a huge amount of experience and skills learnt over many years of caring for bats.
However, in some cases we have to refer people to their local veterinary surgeries, which may not have had much experience in bat rehabilitation. Bat care is a very specialist subject and one that many veterinary professionals have limited experience of dealing with – wildlife is a relatively small element of veterinary training and covers lots of species.
In 2007 BCT published the 1st edition of the Bat Care Guidelines which proved to be incredibly successful. It provides an essential go-to tool for those caring for bats and was freely shared with all volunteer rehabilitators listed with the Bat Care Network and to all UK veterinary practices. A lot of the advice in the previous edition now requires updating – this is vital if we are to ensure that up-to-date advice and knowledge is available to anyone undertaking bat rehabilitation.
How you can help!
This is where you come in! We want to create a 2nd edition of our Bat Care Guidelines. This will be updated with the help of experienced rehabilitators and will provide best practice guidance on bat care. The guidelines will be made available free of charge to any bat rehabilitator, wildlife hospital or veterinary professionals that may be involved in bat rehabilitation.
What will we do with the money?
In order to do this we need to raise £5700. This will include updating and revising the 1st edition, a re-design and reprint. We would like to make at least 2000 copies available. Updating key information in the 1st edition will cost us £1000; adding to that a full update and re-design to produce a second edition will cost us £3500. To able to do all that and print 2000 copies we need £5300. Finally, in order to accomplish all that and send the Bat Care Guidelines, free of charge, to our devoted bat carers and some key veterinary professionals, we will need to raise a total of £5700.
If we get over our target we will be able to use the money to either produce more copies of the guidelines or set up a fund to assist bat carers.
If you want to know more about the work we do visit www.bats.org.uk .
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