What does my project involve?
I will be visiting the island of Buton, Indonesia with Operation Wallacea in order to complete my third year dissertation this summer. My research will involve comparing methods of bat detection, so that research scientists in Buton will be able to monitor bat populations more effectively - with the potential for my research to be published at the end of my trip! My data will also contribute towards OpWall's ongoing monitoring of the bat species there.
Who are Operation Wallacea?
Operation Wallacea are an organisation that conduct important research in many at-risk habitats all across the world. The research resulting from OpWall's work is used to make conservation management decisions and take action to preserve the beautiful landscapes and wildlife found at these locations.
Why is my project important?
Bats are a fascinating and diverse group of animals that are highly beneficial to the healthy function of ecosystems. They control insect populations; manage pests and mosquitoes; pollinate, disperse seeds, and provide fertilizer for many plants. These "services" also benefit agriculture and therefore humans. (If you like tequila, you should thank Mexican bats!) Unfortunately bat species across the world are often overlooked and therefore many are threatened or endangered. On a personal level, the invaluable opportunity to work alongside OpWall's scientists will give me the training needed to make a real difference in the world of conservation after graduation.
What will you do with money raised over your target?
In spite of working two jobs to pay for this trip, there are still a lot of bills I have left to pay (internal flights and transfers, medical costs, equipment, etc) which is why my target amount is £1000. If I am lucky enough to be funded over my target amount, I will use the money to contribute gifts the the local school as they are always in need of stationery and games, so this has the potential to help them immensely.