Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA)
Innocent Twizeyimana (email@example.com)
Marie Claire Dusabe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Olivier Nsengimana (email@example.com)
...in cooperation with local bat champions
For more information, see: https://www.rwandawildlife.org/bat-research-conservation/
Since 2018, we have been visiting places where we know there are bats and counting them each month. We already knew 10 sites, and in late 2019 and 2020, we have found 4 more. Straw-colored fruit bats are abundant and highly distributed in Rwanda in all regions (a map is found below). However, we have seen an increase in the destruction of roost trees or the cutting of branches as landowners try to evict the bats. RWCA has started to introduce conservation actions to protect bats and their habitats, engaging government institutions, private land owners and communities living nearby known bat colonies to raise awareness about the important role of bats, reduce negative perceptions and advocate for bat conservation.
Most bats roost on Napoleon Island in Lake Kivu: When we conduct these counts, the lowest number we found was around 17,000 and the highest was more than 63,000 (estimated during fly-out). We recruited 9 people from the community, who live nearby some of the biggest bat colonies, to help continue this work and we trained them as Bat Conservation Champions.
Five roost sites in Western, Eastern and Southern Province are targeted for the long-term monitoring. Unfortunately, some roost sites have been partially or completely destroyed, especially in Kigali. Other sites, foremost the largest know roost on Napoleon Island, are impossible to monitor with diurnal counts, as the bats are hanging in rather low vegetation difficult to access, and would likely be disturbed and fly off if attempted.
Western Province (Lake Kivu)
for Gisenyi, at the northern shore of Lake Kivu
Serena Hotel (Gisenyi)
for Nyaruguru, no specific data for Akanyaru available on climate-data.org
In Sep 2022, the roost trees in Ruhango were cut down.
for Ngoma, no specific data for Ruhango available on climate-data.org
for Nyagasambu, no specific data for Musha available on climate-data.org