In recognition of the World Endangered Species Day 2017, the Silhouette Community participated on 10th May in a lively presentation forum with ICS and Dr Rachel Bristol on one of the island’s unique and Critically Endangered species, the Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat.
With a population of less than 100 bats, found only on Silhouette and Mahe in Seychelles, the Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat, Sousouri Bannann in Creole, is also an Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (or EDGE) species, unique and different from all other bats and well deserving of research and conservation efforts. As an insectivorous bat, Sousouri Bannann help to keep nocturnal beetle, moth, midge and mosquito populations in check without the use of harmful pesticides.
During the forum, ICS and Dr. Rachel Bristol showed a presentation and short movie to everyone about the Sousouri Bannann. Then, community members shared their memories of the bats, which were once far more numerous in Seychelles and previously also found on Praslin and La Digue. Threats and possible solutions to their decline were discussed and the community expressed their enthusiasm for being involved as citizen scientists in conservation efforts going forward.
We in Seychelles recognise our role as global guardians of some amazing, endemic species. ICS in collaboration with UNDP, GEF Small Grants Programme, Government of Seychelles and the Silhouette Foundation is dedicated to conservation actions to protect these species and their habitats. Current conservation efforts for Sousouri Bannann focus on locating and protecting roosts and foraging grounds, monitoring and community awareness raising, and further study to better understand best practice in caring for this species.
ICS would like to thank the Islands Development Company and the Silhouette Community for participating to this event and helping to organize it! The success of this event shows how important it is to involve members from the community in conservation efforts. We encourage everyone interested to learn more about Sousouri Bannann and Silhouette to visit our Conservation Centre and enjoy the beauty of the island.