Lead Researcher: Sheema
Core team members: Mary-Ruth
Project Pteropus was set up to address this gap in research and conservation. Understanding bat ecosystem services and conflict situations with humans is a crucial step towards developing effective conservation solutions. There is a particularly urgent need for this in Malaysia, where the country’s two flying fox species are on the brink of extirpation, yet are still classified as low conservation priorities on the IUCN Red List. This underscores the importance of localised conservation action to address country-specific flying fox declines. Therefore our long-term goal is to investigate, understand, document, and highlight bat ecosystem services such as durian (Durio zibethinus) pollination in order to promote conservation of bats and their habitats – but also to understand and try to address situations of conflict between bats and humans.
Although we do not conduct research on virology or zoonoses, we welcome collaborations that employ a genuinely holistic, One Health approach to disease ecology, prioritising the welfare of wild animals and their habitats alongside human health, and incorporating a strong pro-conservation message that strives to avoid demonising or creating unnecessary fear of bats.