FoA applauds discovery of new bat species in West Africa

FoA applauds discovery of new bat species in West Africa

FoA applauds discovery of new bat species in West Africa

For decades Friends of Animals has done conservation work in West Africa, which is why we have a big cheer for the group of scientists, led by the American Museum of Natural History and Bat Conservation International, who have discovered a new bat species in the Nimba mountain range there.

The species, a striking orange and black bat that the researchers expect is likely critically endangered, underscores the importance of sub-Saharan “sky islands” to bat diversity. The Nimba Mountains have peaks rising between 1,600-1,750 meters (about 1 mile) above sea level and are surrounded by drastically different lowland habitats. As such, they are home to exceptional biodiversity, including bats.

“In an age of extinction, a discovery like this offers a glimmer of hope,” said Winifred Frick, chief scientist at Bat Conservation International and an associate research professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “It’s a spectacular animal. It has this bright-orange fur, and because it was so distinct, that led us to realize it was not described before. Discovering a new mammal is rare. It has been a dream of mine since I was a child.”

In West Africa, Friends of Animals currently supports the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project in the Gambia, as well as an oryx reintroduction project and community gardens in Senegal.

A new conservation effort is also underway in Senegal—the reintroduction of the North African, red-necked ostrich.

For decades FoA also helped fight the poaching of the region’s elephants by providing equipment, vehicles and training.