Organization for Bat Conservation
|Origins||Bloomfield Hills, Michigan|
|Executive Director: Rob Mies|
Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) is a national environmental education nonprofit based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan established to educate and inspire people to actively save bats.
Founded in 1997 Rob Mies (current Executive Director), OBC is the leading environmental educator focused on bats. At its home base at Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, OBC operates the Bat Zone, a live animal center with nearly 200 animals including bats from around the world and other nocturnal animals. Each year, thousands of visitors of all ages come to the Bat Zone to attend tours and participate in live animal educational programs. In addition, OBC educators travel throughout the country presenting to nearly 250,000 students, children and adults at schools, festivals, museums, science and nature centers each year.
OBC also organizes and participates in many special “batty” events. The Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival, started in 2002, celebrates the unique role of bats in the Great Lakes ecosystem as insect eaters, while dispelling myths and misinformation that generate needless fears and threaten bats and their habitats around the world. The goal of the festival is to help people understand the impact to natural ecosystems and human economies should bat populations continue to decline. The festival features activities for children, families, educators and conservation professionals. Presentations, speakers, live animals, hands-on activities, games for kids, and interactive exhibits provide fun and environmental education.
OBC also shares the importance and uniqueness of bats nationally through print and television appearances including The Tonight Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Fox & Friends, The Doctors, National Geographic TV, and Martha Stewart Living.
Save the Bats: OBC’s National Conservation Campaign In September 2014, OBC launched a new public action campaign called Save the Bats. Save the Bats is aimed at preventing the decline of this important and beloved animal in our ecosystem. Save the Bats grew out of public demand for specific ways for people to protect bats and the recognition that Americans need to be mobilized to prevent the extinction of these important animals.
Save the Bats encourages people to take action in their own backyards and neighborhoods, including installing bat houses, planting wildlife gardens, and teaching others about the importance of bats. Using multiple social media platforms, public relations and in-person educational events, Save the Bats is expected to have tremendous reach across the U.S. The campaign has many celebrity, government agency and corporate supporters.
In addition, OBC and Warner Brothers Entertainment worked together on the set of Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice to re-purpose parts of the movie set into bat houses. Director Zack Snyder contacted OBC when he heard about bats dying off from White-nose Syndrome and enlisted Rob Mies, OBC Executive Director, to assist in the bat house design and construction. More than 150 bat houses were made on the movie set in Pontiac, some of which were painted and signed by Zack, Amy Adams, and Ben Affleck. The bat houses will be auctioned off to support the Save the Bats campaign. Warner Brothers released a short PSA documenting the bat house build featuring Ben Affleck encouraging people to join the campaign. To date, more than 1,000,000 people have viewed the video.
Collaborative worldwide conservation projects
- Supporting White-Nose Fungus research
- Reducing wind farm mortality
- Bat house habitation success
- Land surveys for public and private land owner to identify roosts for protection
- Providing bat education seminars at Michigan Nature Centers funded by bat conservation grants from Critter Catchers, Inc.
- Protection on Mauritius Island regarding the Mauritian flying fox
- Education on the Island of Rodrigues regarding the Rodrigues Flying Fox
- Protection of the Golden Bat
- Teacher training workshops in Malaysia.
- Rescue project of the Australian Spectacled Flying-fox
- Organization for Bat Conservation, Bat Conservation Journal, Summer 2009 Issue