Friends of Bats - Cayman Islands and the Tropics

The Cayman Islands Bat Conservation Program has become a model for tropical bat conservation projects worldwide. We are a non-profit, all volunteer organization operating under the aegis of the National Trust. We advise and assist in removing bats from roofs using environmentally sound and humane methods. Over 100 bat houses have been mounted on utility poles on Grand Cayman. Public education includes presentations at public and private schools, colleges, churches, service clubs, and youth groups as well as published materials.

Our bat houses sit atop sturdy utility poles donated by Caribbean Utilities Co Ltd (CUC) and have proved to be storm resistant, even in Hurricane Ivan. Each holds between 200 and 500 small insect-eating bats that wake up at sundown and head out to enjoy their nightly feast of mosquitoes, moths and beetles. Each and every bat eats over 1,000 bugs nightly! – and no need to worry – they won’t tangle in your hair!

The bat houses used in Cayman were designed by local carpenter, Ron Moser. Marriott Resorts sponsored 25 bat houses but more sponsors are needed to continue the program. Individuals can sponsor or purchase a bat house for $750 which includes the utility pole, installation and all consulting.

Not all bats can live in bat houses. Besides the insect-eating bats, Cayman has eight other species and one endemic subspecies – each with different needs and habits. Only two of Cayman’s bat species eat cultivated fruit, and these never live in bat houses. Some species need quiet caves or deep forest habitats to survive. Bats are a “Keystone Species” and are important in keeping the natural environment diverse and healthy.

Find more on www.caymanwildlife.org, www.nationaltrust.org.ky or www.batcon.org or join Caribbean-bats@yahoo.com