The South Asian Bat Monitoring Program relies on volunteers who identify Indian flying fox bats and commit to studying them and obtaining population information on a regular basis. It consists entirely of volunteers and is the first such network to monitor the population of a species in South Asia. The information from all these sites will be compiled and analyzed for trends in the population of Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus), identify key threats to roosts and provide recommendations for their conservation.
The program aims to create awareness about bat conservation issues, involve and educate biologists and nature-lovers in studies about the biology of bats, and establish a conservation action plan. The Program will initially focus on one species, Pteropus giganteus, as it is the most known and recognizable bat species in South Asia.
Although there are anecdotal accounts that indicate that populations and roosts of many bat species are decreasing, there is no hard evidence. There is thus an urgent need to assess the populations of bats and to monitor them on a regular basis to determine population trends.