Controlling the Vampire Bat

Wildlife Conservation Society, BIOTA & Bolivian Bat Conservation Programme, 2004. Text: María Isabel Galarza

Vampire bats often evoke images of mist-wreathed gothic castles and clawing midnight zombies.

Dracula sweeping across cobbled courtyards bent on morbid intent.

In fact, like all members of their order, Vampire bats are useful players that maintain the ecosystems they inhabit. They usually mind their own business, but when problems do arise its usually when their human neighbours have livestock and the bats themselves happen to be infected with rabies.

This is a very common form of conflict in tropical parts of the world where Vampire bats coexist with domestic cattle. This conflict is the topic of this booklet, which was designed to provide practical guidance to cattle ranchers in the lowland tropical area of Bolivia wishing to avoid contagion of rabies from bats to their livestock.

Click on the slide show below to see the cartoons in action!