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EVIDENCE-BASED 
CONSERVATION

CONSERVATION.

Saving Nigeria's small mammal population one intervention at a time.

Saving the Short-tailed Roundleaf bat

In 2016, we discovered the only confirmed protected area roost of the Vulnerable Short-tailed Roundleaf-nosed bat Hipposideros curtus in Cross River National Park, Nigeria. Previously known roosts in Cameroon are either destroyed or of unknown status. Range restricted and occurring in naturally small populations, the species is threatened by cave disturbance (primarily from fruit bat hunting) and habitat destruction (from forest wildfires), driving it to the brink of extinction.

To conserve the species, we're working with local communities, rangers, and park administrators to reduce the risk of wildfire outbreaks, cave disturbance and ensure long-term monitoring. We are also on a deep discovery drive for additional cave populations in Nigeria. We're grateful to the Future for Nature AwardConservation Leadership Program, Rufford Foundation, Bat Conservation International, and two private donors, for advancing our cause to pull this rare bat back from the brink of extinction. The prestigious Whitley Fund for Nature Award to Iroro is expanding this program to multiple communities in the project area, increasing the impact.

Watch out for updates!!

Save by the thousands

Large-bodied colony forming fruit bats are intensely hunted across West Africa. In Nigeria, offtake levels can reach 4,000 individuals of the Egyptian Fruit bat per hunting effort. Such intense hunting may lead to the breakdown and loss of ecosystem services that are often critical for local livelihoods i.e., Non-timber forest products. We're working to unravel the socio-ecological dimensions of bat meat hunting and consumption in Nigeria. This will inform evidence-based conservation of fruit bats and the vital ecosystem services they provide.

Alternative livelihoods

Bat hunting has become a widespread menace across the southern region of Nigeria which if left unchecked will cause an adverse ecological breakdown. We are working with the local communities to create viable alternative sources of food and income.

SCIENCE.

Keeping with our vision to protect the population of small mammals in Nigeria, we conduct basic ecological and conservation research to drive our intervention programs.

Bats of Nigeria

The Bats of Nigeria Project is our flagship research project at SMACON. Here, we seek to document the country's bat fauna, distribution and ecology. A critical component of this work also involves developing local capacity. As interest in bat research and conservation develops among Nigerian students, we aim to encourage sound science that generates reliable datasets and publishable in reputable journals, contributing to fundamental bat biology, broader ecology and evidence based conservation.

With support from the Harrison Institute, UK and the Museum Naturelle d'Historia, France, we have been working to update the list of Nigerian bats since 2013. Expect updates in the coming year (2022).

 

Rodents of Nigeria

Large-bodied colony forming fruit bats are intensely hunted across West Africa. In Nigeria, offtake levels can reach 4,000 individuals of the Egyptian Fruit bat per hunting effort. Such intense hunting may lead to the breakdown and loss of ecosystem services that are often critical for local livelihoods i.e., Non-timber forest products. We're working to unravel the socio-ecological dimensions of bat meat hunting and consumption in Nigeria. This will inform evidence-based conservation of fruit bats and the vital ecosystem services they provide.

Socio-ecological research

Large-bodied colony forming fruit bats are intensely hunted across West Africa. In Nigeria, offtake levels can reach 4,000 individuals of the Egyptian Fruit bat per hunting effort. Such intense hunting may lead to the breakdown and loss of ecosystem services that are often critical for local livelihoods i.e., Non-timber forest products. We're working to unravel the socio-ecological dimensions of bat meat hunting and consumption in Nigeria. This will inform evidence-based conservation of fruit bats and the vital ecosystem services they provide.

Ecological monitoring

To better understand species-environment interactions and gain valuable data on ecosystem health, We conduct scheduled environmental monitoring across our project sites.

OUTREACH.

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Future for Bats Program

Children are the leaders of tomorrow! To ensure future sustainable conservation, we create conservation awareness in school children by educating them on the ecological importance of small mammals.

 

With funding from Future for Nature and the Whitley Fund for Nature, we’re developing an integrated school kids program. Watch this space!

 

Community Engagement

We engage local communities in places where we work, through conservation awareness campaigns and outreach events. We have been conducting these programs for over a decade across southern Nigeria, starting in 2011.

Government and Policy

To create sustainable interventions, a synergy between conservation efforts and the polity must be achieved. That's why we collaborate with leadership at the community level to establish and enforce local laws.

FELLOWSHIP.

Purpose

The West Africa Mammal Fellowship aims to strengthen the capacity of post-graduate students through training, mentorship, and networking, thereby raising scientists and conservationists to secure the future of biodiversity in their home countries.

Details

Sound science relies on effective mentorship and collaboration! At SMACON, we aim to inspire the next generation of ecologists and conservationists to conduct carefully designed hypothesis-driven research that advances our understanding of the natural world and informs evidence-driven conservation. Interest in bat ecology and conservation is budding in Nigeria, but local expertise is severely lacking. To ensure that the science has a solid conceptual basis, we facilitate collaboration between local institutional professors/lecturers and international bat experts who work together to co-supervise graduate student projects. Also, many local students face barriers accessing important resources that can make or break a project. Thus, in addition to mentorship, we aim to support students with library access, equipment loans, mini-grants, and hands-on training. Our research fellows are selected after attending a workshop and submitting a guided research proposal.

 

The fellowship includes a hands-on field-based workshop and a post-workshop mentorship program. Mentorship includes project supervision, equipment/book loans, mini-grants, and help with grant applications. Successful applicants will be invited to the workshop. Only workshop participants will be invited to apply for mentorship.

Eligibility

This program is open to Ph.D students that are interested in research areas such as

Application Process

The West Africa Mammal Fellowship aims to strengthen the capacity of post-graduate students through training, mentorship, and networking, thereby raising scientists and conservationists to secure the future of biodiversity in their home countries.

Review Criteria

The West Africa Mammal Fellowship aims to strengthen the capacity of post-graduate students through training, mentorship, and networking, thereby raising scientists and conservationists to secure the future of biodiversity in their home countries.

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Bat Records in Nigeria

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Conservation Programs

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Earth for Us to Protect

Conservation

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