CUC bucket trucks to help protect bats

| 07/10/2019
Cayman News Service
Photo courtesy National Trust

(CNS): With local bats battling against extinction, the National Trust for the Cayman Islands has enlisted the help of Grand Cayman’s power provider to reinstate its Bat Conservation Programme to help support all nine native species. CUC will be providing bucket trucks to help install special bat houses to keep the animals way from people’s rafters.

The partnership comes just at the right time, as the bat breeding season ends in mid-November. It is illegal to remove or disturb bats from home roofs during the June to November season as this would leave baby bats separated from their mothers and left to die.

“Bats are extremely vulnerable to extinction because they usually bear only one pup each year,” said Stuart Mailer, the Environmental Programmes Manager for the Trust. “It can take many years for a colony to establish itself.”

The Bat Conservation Programme provides education for the general public and local farmers on the importance of bats and how they positively impact our ecosystem. It is also focused on the safe removal of bats from roofs and encouraging their relocation to bat houses. This is where CUC’s help is needed.

“Bat houses are quite large and weighty and installation requires the help of a bucket truck,” Mailer said.

CUC’s Environment Health and Safety manager, Joni Kirkconnell, said the company has been a National Trust partner for many years and supports a number of other projects, such as the Mangrove Education Project, and will be supply equipment for the new NT bird sanctuary at Malportas Pond.

“We are pleased that the bat programme has restarted and we continue to witness the success of the Mangrove Education programme, which has been highlighted as one of the programmes children in the primary schools readily recall,” said Kirkconnell. “We remain committed to protecting our

The new Malportas Pond sanctuary, which forms part of the Central Mangrove Wetland, is an internationally recognised Important Bird Area.
The vision includes a hide, interpretive signage and public telescopes, which will be funded by CUC.

CUC has supported the Mangrove Education Project, run by Martin Keeley, for almost 20 years, where students of every Year 5 class in all schools learn about the importance of mangrove ecosystems during an all-day interactive lesson plan.

National Trust Executive Director Nadia Hardie said the NGO was grateful to CUC for their ongoing support in conservation initiatives, as corporate partnerships are crucial to helping the Trust deliver on its mandate.


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Category: Environment

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