FACTS ABOUT BATS AND COVID-19
As efforts are stepping up around the world to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), there have been numerous reports that various communities and governmental authorities in several regions of the world have been culling bats in a misplaced effort to combat the disease.
Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS) and we want to remind you about value of bats:
- Bats do not spread COVID-19. COVID-19 is being transmitted from humans to other humans.
- There is no evidence that bats directly infected humans with COVID-19 in the first place. Scientific investigations are pointing to a chain of events that may have involved bats but most likely only through an intermediate animal.
- There are some 1,400 bat species living in the wild around the world. Many have adapted to urban environments, living in backyard gardens, urban parks and even roosting under bridges, without posing the slightest threat to their human neighbours.
- Bats provide enormous benefits including pollination, seed dispersal and pest control, worth billions of dollars annually.
- Many bat species are in trouble and need our help to survive. Dozens of bat species are protected by the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and EUROBATS. But much more needs to be done to ensure the survival of bats around the world. While the killing of bats will not have any effects on the spread of COVID-19, it would adversely affect the conservation status of bat populations.
- A similar misdirected focus occurred at the height of the 2006 avian influenza, with calls for widespread culling of migratory waterbirds and the draining of their wetland habitats.
Information was taken from https://www.eurobats.org/node/2593
More information you can find at https://www.cms.int/en/news/opinion-far-being-our-enemies-bats-need-protection-now-more-ever
More details about COVID-19 and Bats you can also find at Bat Conservation Trust