Enhancing the Protection and Monitoring of Bat Species in Volcanic Caves of Musanze District through Local Community Empowerment and Participation

Julius Nziza

Other projects

24 Jan 2014

The Conservation of Bat Species and their Roosting Habitat in the Volcanic Caves at Musanze District, Northern Rwanda

8 Mar 2018

The Conservation of Diverse Bat Species (Mammalia:Chiroptera) in Volcanic Caves at Musanze District, Northern Rwanda

22 Feb 2021

Conserving the Diverse Bat Species Assemblages at the Musanze Volcanic Caves in the Midst of Misplaced COVID-19 Fears, Northern Rwanda

Musanze district is a home to several volcanic caves sheltering numerous species of bats currently threatened by human activities affecting the survival of bats. The primary purpose of this project is to establish community led strategies for monitoring and protecting bats and their roosting cave habitats in Musanze.


- Perform several bats conservation activities in and around the bat caves such as installation of bat conservation information boards/signposts and repairing old ones, cave cleaning up activities, and the distribution of conservation waste bins to poor households in areas surrounding the caves.
- Establish bat guardian teams in our project sites responsible for monitoring impending threats to bats/caves and collecting ecological data on bats.
- Develop an action plan for integrating bat conservation into other socio-economic activities carried out in areas around the volcanic caves sheltering bats.
- Provide bat/caves conservation incentives to our newly established environmental clubs in schools and the bat conservation cooperative members.
- Sensitise local communities particularly in the new sectors of Musanze District where large colonies of cave dwelling bats were recently discovered.
- Collect and document data on the daily and seasonal movements of bats in the project sites.

Expected project outputs:

- Bat conservation information board/signposts installed at various bat caves and sanctuaries.
- Conservation waste bins distributed to poor households in areas around the caves are expected to reduce the illegal use of bat caves as dumping sites for garbage.
- Bat protection incentives will enhance community participation in the protection of caves sheltering bats and promote community coexistence with the resident bats.
- Bat population monitoring tools made availed will lead to enhanced bat population monitoring thus providing information about the population trends.
- Musanze caves conservation and protection action plan will be produced and shared with other relevant stakeholders.
- Education within communities where new caves sheltering bat have been discovered will help produce a better informed and empowered local communities, capable of managing their natural resources in the light of up-to-date knowledge about the benefits of bats and the fragility of their colonial populations.

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