Group Leader:
Fernando Simal


visit pprabc website


The Bat Conservation Group of the ABC islands (PPRABC) has many years of experience and a long list of significant accomplishments in the protection and conservation of bats and caves. The PPRABC reaches its goals by combining scientific research, education and changes in legislation. Today, this group leads the Nature Conservation activities of the society.


Caves are unique habitats for several species of flora and fauna, with bats being the most iconic of them all. Some species of bats are  recognized as keystone species for the terrestrial ecosystems of our region.
Many of the bat species that live in the Caribbean rely on caves for diurnal and maternity roosts. Cave dwelling species tend to be gregarious, meaning that they congregate during the day in colonies that can reach several thousands. One cave can be used simultaneously by different species.
In most cases, the caves used by these bats are not included in the existing systems of protected areas. This represents a considerable hazard for the bat colonies present in them, because large colonies of bats can easily attract the attention of people that disturb the caves during visits. This type of disturbance is particularly harmful during those months of the year when bats are giving birth and nursing their offspring. Uncontrolled visits can result in high mortality of young and adults.
Fish and crustaceans also dwell in caves. Due the isolated nature of these environments and their unique conditions, some of these species can not be found anywhere else and therefore are very vulnerable. Even subtle changes of habitat conditions can negatively impact the fragile ecosystem of a cave.

Group Projects :
Nature Conservation GroupOngoingProjects

Reproductive cycle and cave use dynamics of bat maternity cave at Bakuna

The previously unknown life cycles of two species of insect-eating bats have been determined for Bonaire by this project. We found these species at a cave located in the Bakuna area, where scientific research was never conducted before. We defined the yearly patterns of use of this cave by 3 different bat species that inhabit it. We did this by conducting…

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Nature Conservation GroupOngoingProjects

Physical protection of bat maternity chambers

Despite their ecological importance (see Caves and Karst fauna), bat populations on Bonaire are threatened by uncontrolled visits to the caves that they use as daily and maternity roosts. Female bats on Caribbean islands give birth to only one offspring per year after a long pregnancy. For some species, the entire island population could be…

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Nature Conservation GroupOngoingProjects

Protecting caves from direct vehicle access

DESCRIPTION In general, caves are exceptionally vulnerable to contamination due to the little exchange with the external environment. Contaminants accumulate faster and take longer to dilute or biodegrade. Therefore, pollution should be avoided as much as possible and great efforts should be made to preserve the environment inside caves as pristine as possible. Light and…

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Nature Conservation GroupProjectsSuccesfully Completed

S.I.C.O.M. Recognition For 2 Bat Maternity Roosts on Bonaire

DESCRIPTION A.I.C.O.M. and  S.I.C.O.M. (Spanish acronyms for Area and Site of Importance for Bat Conservation) are designations that indicate international recognition granted by a group of world class bat scientists. The designation can be used as a tool to obtain local legal protection for a priority roost. On the island of Bonaire we found two caves without any…

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