Outreach and Education project
Public perception bats has been historically negative with bats often portrayed as duplicitous creatures of the night. This situation is further exacerbated in Mauritius with the ongoing fruit bat- farmer conflict which further fuels the animosity towards all bat species in Mauritius. Despite playing key roles and services in the Mauritian ecosystems, all bat species, irrespective of their diets, are linked to commercial fruit damage. There is a clear lack of knowledge and education about bat species in Mauritius as well as their respective roles in the ecosystem. In collaboration with local and international partners, we conduct island-wide educational outreach campaigns in schools, universities and social centres. We are the only NGO in Mauritius that does such a wide scale of educational outreach on bats and Mauritian ecosystems. This community-based education in a cornerstone in what ERA IO does on a local scale. Our main goals with this project is the dissemination of knowledge, change perception of the public and create a connection between the people and bat species. It is through these connections and personal experiences that the public appreciate and valorise bats and their habitats.