Local ecologists opposing the government’s initiative of getting rid of bats are not the only ones discouraging the project. Last week, The Washington Post has joined in the battle by making an exposé of the arguments of conservationists and biologists.
In an article of The Washington Post entitled “The island that was once home to the Dodo wants to kill off thousands of protected bats”, the fears of Mauritian conservationists were spelled out yet again.
The work of a postdoctoral scientist, Ryszard Oleksy, was mentioned; the latter is from the University of Bristol and is currently studying the influence of bats on fruit trees in Mauritius. According to Oleksy, pregnant bats might be more vulnerable because they would be slower because of their burden. Moreover, this also means that the unborn bats might probably also die.
As per Oleksy’s statements, killing off bats will not be beneficial to fruit growers because the animals are not the primary cause of decreased fruit harvest.
Vincent Florens, associate professor of ecology at the University of Mauritius, was also quoted in the article. He proposes an alternative to the problem: preserving fruits with nets set up on trees.
The Mauritius Wildlife Foundation (MWF) has also come forward to denounce the project. Backed up with its figures generated from its past researches, the MWF has requested the government to review its decision.