Zoo Outreach Organization &
Wildlife Information Liaison Development


Chiroptera Conservation and Information Network of South Asia (CCINSA)

The inspiration for CCINSA had its roots in the Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (C.A.M.P.) Workshop for Indian Mammals which was conducted in 1997, organized and facilitated by Zoo Outreach Organization/CPSG India. We could find at that time only 6 people studying bats in India!

During this workshop field biologists from all parts of India assessed the conservation status of more than 400 species of Indian mammals (102 of which were bats) using the 1994 version of the IUCN Red List Criteria, 1994. The output of the workshop indicated that while there were a number of threatened bats, exactly 50% of the 102 bats listed were "Data Deficient", meaning that we did not have enough information even to assess their status. Considering the ecological and economic importance of bats and the fact that bats make up 25% of the mammalian diversity of South Asia, it was clear that much work needed to be done and the workshop bat working group suggested starting a bat group or network. The group was initiated in India and added the South Asian countries in a year or two. In another status assessment workshop held in 2000 attended by more than 40 researchers, only 3% of species had to be assessed Data Deficient. A big difference . . . because we knew more people and had access to more information.

The purpose of this group and its relationship with the IUCN SSC Chiroptera Specialist Group is to join bat field researchers throughout South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan) into a communications network so that a clearer picture can emerge and lead to conservation action.

The role of Zoo Outreach Organization which has initiated this network is purely administrative and coordinating. We take on this task so that researchers and scientists who need to be linked do not have to spend time or (often) infrastructure for this type of work. We also arrange technical expertise and objective organisation and facilitation for conducting conservation and field techniques workshops. Often this method is helpful in insuring that a greater number and diversity of specialists contribute to the pool of information required for a comprehensive overview of the bat taxon group.

To encourage and promote the study of bats (Volant [flying] mammals) of South Asia, by organizing and running a network of bat specialists, and to provide them useful services.
To maintain a check list and data base -- as complete and correct as possible -- of bats of South Asia providing local, national and regional information to be shared with important national and international agencies and organisations;
To view the most current checklist of these small mammals
To catalyse, organize, conduct and follow-up conservation assessment and other workshops and training exercises for bat specialists of South Asia and public education projects as appropriate, nationally or regionally.
To connect with the Report of the Chiroptera CAMP
Click on these links below to view the reports of some of these training workshops
Small Mammal Field Techniques Training, Thrissur, Kerala, November 2011
Training in Field techniques for Small mammals, Bhutan, September 2009
Bat Taxonomy and Echolocation Workshop for Researchers at M.K.U., August 2009
Training in Field Techniques for survey of Volant and Non-Volant Small Mammals Conservation workshop at Nepal, June 2007
Training in Field Techniques for survey of Volant and Non-Volant Small Mammals Conservation workshop at Sri Lanka, November 2005
Training in Field techniques on population and distribution studies, Conservation Management and Public Education of Bats and Rodents at Bangladesh - 2005
Field Techniques for Chiroptera & Rodentia and Zoo Management Training - 2004
Training in Field Techniques for Ecological Studies of Chiroptera - 2003
To follow up such workshops with recommendations to local, state, national and regional wildlife authorities for protection for threatened species of bats and promotion of further studies of Data Deficient species (ongoing but much needs to be done).
To undertake a set of specific "tasks" utilising the information from the 1997 BCPP CAMP workshop and the 2000 Chiroptera CAMP workshop to further enhance our knowledge of bat status in South Asia.
To research and disseminate information about funding sources for field surveys
To bring out a newsletter of current bat conservation, research, education news (several issues have been brought out and can be found on our website.
To find the current Bat newsletter Small Mammal Mail
To prepare a Directory of bat specialists of South Asia for distribution to all network members.
To see the Directory of CCINSA Members
To prepare educational materials on bats at different levels on for conveying to policy makers, politicians, and the public - all ages and languages.
To involve researchers in public education on bats by providing printed material and guidelines.
To view the current educational materials click on the following links
2007 Bat Packet and dramakit
2007 Bat Colouring Book
2008 Fruit Bat Cards
To view the activities and reports of bat clubs

We now have bat people who are our network members in almost all the South Asian countries. We have conducted training in India (3 workshops), Pakistan (1 workshop), Bangladesh (1 workshop) Nepal (1 workshop) Sri Lanka (1 workshop) and in Bhutan (1 workshop).

The CCINSA Education Programme has taken on a life of its own, almost, with regular programmes being conducted by zoos (whether they keep bats or not), ngo's, schools, and even bat researchers. Some of the bat researchers are very high level scientists and the students lucky enough to be invited to their programmes are thrilled.

In the CCINSA Education Programme we started a Bat Club movement for kids. We invite CCINSA members and some educators to apply for permission to start a bat club and then send them a kit of materials which helps them focus on teaching kids a little at a time and directing them to appreciate bats. All of our bat clubs have been outstanding.

If you are involved in research on bats and live in South Asia and want to join the network, send us your c.v. by email to zooreach@zooreach.org and we will send you appropriate material.

Best to bats and their fans,

Dr. Sripathi Kandula, Scientific Chair, CCINSA
Dr. Paul Racey, External Advisor, CCINSA
Sally Walker, Convenor and Administrator, CCINSA