On September 1, bat workers with the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) in Colon visited the Gamboa Bat Lab. We had an amazing and informative meeting and shared experiences working with vampires and other bats. We are hoping to develop some new long-term projects on vampire bats and discuss useful information to help solve the conflict between vampires and humans through inter-institutional cooperation.
El 01 de septiembre, personal de MIDA-Colon liderado por el Dr. Rogelio Singh visitó nuestro BatLab en Gamboa. Tuvimos una reunión increíble e informativa para compartir experiencias sobre murciélagos y vampiros. Esperamos desarrollar algunos nuevos proyectos a largo plazo sobre vampiros y discutir información útil para ayudar a resolver el conflicto entre vampiros y humanos gracias a esta cooperación interinstitucional.
My research assistant Jineth Berrío-Martínez organized a meeting between the Gamboa Bat Lab and the vampire bat control team at the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) in Colon. We talked about possible ways that they could help us by sharing information about relative abundance of vampire bats and/or rabies outbreaks, and that we could help them by sharing the latest research of vampire bat rabies, coming from disease researchers like Daniel Streicker and Daniel Becker. One of the most important lessons is to be sure to distinguish between the vampires and the more ecologically beneficial fruit, nectar, and insect-eating bats that spread seeds, pollinate flowers, and control insect pests.
While working with the MIDA crew, we caught a rare white-winged vampire bat (below), a species the team had not yet seen in Panama. We also saw another bat feeding on a chicken in a tree.