Flying foxes around the world are threatened. Susan wants to understand their migratory patterns as a way to determining their ability to survive in a changing world. But there’s a hitch – because they are rare, she can’t just track them – sample size would be too low! Rather, she wants to use genetic techniques to figure out how well different populations are connected. Even better, she can get these samples from museum specimens.
And that’s where you come in – funding her to travel to museums, take small wing punches of bats in collections, and do the genetic analyses.
I love this project because 1) awesome flying bats! and 2) it’s shows us how museums, which we think of as a fun place to go visit, are incredibly valuable repositories of data and samples for scientists studying current-day problems. It’s pretty cool.
Not only that, but, as a reward, Susan offers up some neat rewards, like signed origami bats or private behind-the-scenes tours of the American Museum of Natural History.
So why not head on over and help flying fox conservation!