Bat populations are in decline around the world due to loss of habitat, the ingestion of pesticides in the insects that they eat, and the lack of human support to maintain bat populations. Costa Rica, a world leader in environmental protection, has again taken strong and far-sighted action in this area.
About 15 years ago, Costa Rican conservationists realized that part of the reason that bats are in decline is the bad image bats have among the public. Costa Rica initiated a 17-month long campaign to educate the public about the benefits of bats and the importance of maintaining bat populations. The campaign included planting favorable stories about bats in the news media.
I have mentioned in the past that Costa Rica has set aside a larger percentage of its land area -- 25% -- for national parks and nature reserves. Costa Rica is also regarded as the country with the greatest biodiversity for its size on earth. It is also believed to be the only nation on earth that has a government agency that is tasked with the job of making an inventory of every single plant and animal species within its borders -- and there are about one million! I guess it takes such a country to think about conducting a public relations campaign on behalf of bats.