Bat Conservation International, Inc.

aka BCI   |   Austin, TX   |


Bat Conservation International's mission is to conserve the world's bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Michael J Daulton

Main address

500 N Capital of Texas Highway Building 1-175

Austin, TX 78746 USA

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NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

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This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Bracken Cave Preserve

Bracken Cave in the Texas Hill Country is the home of the world’s largest mammal colony—twenty million Mexican Free tail bats migrate to the site every year. Bracken Cave is on BCI-owned property and access has been limited to research staff and VIP guests for decades. The site is featured in the National Geographic documentary Strange Creatures Of The Night, the National Geographic’s Kids website and was the focus of a Kratt Brothers “Be the Creature” episode.  The Nature Conservancy identifies Bracken Cave as the world’s largest colony of mammals and the director of Boston University’s Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology calls Bracken Cave “one of the great wonders of the world.”   Bracken Cave is a maternity colony, one of the safe havens for these bats to have their single pup each summer. Adult bats weigh no more than two quarters and yet they are capable of flying at great altitude and traveling long distances. Seen individually, each bat is a marvel of engineering--and quite appealing with soft fur and tiny ears. Bears, eagles and buffalo are iconic American mammals, but a visit to Bracken inspires guests to add bats to the list.    
Bracken’s acres are gradually becoming a showplace of natural, Hill Country habitat in the midst of suburban development, and the millions of young bats at Bracken will benefit from having the best conditions possible as they first learn to fly and feed. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we have developed a comprehensive plan for habitat restoration and management. This plan is based on decades of combined experience, including three years of on-site experimentation in which restoration approaches (and the cost and feasibility of volunteer and contracting options) have been tested. Decades of fire prevention and overgrazing have allowed an unnatural proliferation of ashe juniper which increasingly deprives young bats of required feeding opportunities and threatens the reserve’s diverse wildlife. Surrounding lands are being engulfed by urban sprawl, contributing to the urgency of our restoration efforts.

While the day to day work of clearing juniper isn’t glamorous—the wildflowers that are flourishing in the open spaces are quite spectacular. The re-establishment of native grasses, oaks, and wildflowers in a mosaic of habitats throughout Bracken Cave Preserve is most notable in the springtime. Some of the native species of flowers and grasses we have planted at Bracken probably haven’t been seen in this part of the hill country in decades. Habitat restoration and management is a long-term and costly commitment, but one that is vital to protecting our planet’s largest remaining community of mammals.

Population(s) Served

White-nose Syndrome has caused “the most precipitous wildlife decline in the past century in North America,” according to biologists. It has devastated bat populations across the northeastern United States during the past four years. BCI is working with agencies, organizations and individuals to understand and stop WNS and begin restoring these decimated bat populations.  Since WNS was discovered in a New York cave in February 2006, more than 5.7 million hibernating bats of eleven species have been killed by the disease in 23 states and 5 Canadian Provinces. Mortality rates approaching 100 percent are reported at some sites. Ultimately, bats across North America are at imminent risk.

Population(s) Served

Bat Conservation International supports the development of alternative energy sources. Nevertheless, there is growing concern among leading experts that cumulative impacts of wind energy development on wildlife could become unsustainable if facilities continue to operate without careful planning to minimize harm to birds and bats, both of which are ecologically essential. We believe that minimizing harmful impacts to wildlife is an essential element of “green energy” and that developers of wind energy must substantially increase efforts to improve siting and develop and test methods to reduce harm to wildlife. Additionally, state and federal agencies must increase support for responsible development of wind energy in a manner compatible with protecting wildlife resources. Cooperation, including access to study sites, funding, and transparency of information obtained, are fundamental elements needed to successfully resolve wind and wildlife conflicts.

Population(s) Served

BCI is committed to protecting the world’s 1,300+ species of bats. Our earliest bat conservation efforts focused on protecting specific colonies of bats and abating threats at known roost sites. We helped to protect many notable bat colonies around the world in this fashion -- the Mexican Free-Tailed Bats, Tadarida brasiliensis, found under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas and at Bracken Bat Cave in the Texas Hill Country; a significant Gray Bat, Myotis grisescens, colony in Fern Cave, Alabama; and the world’s largest known colony of Geoffroy’s Rousette Fruit Bats, Rousettus amplexicaudatus, in the Monfort Bat Cave, Philippines, and the National Park of American Samoa -- to name a few. Many of our early strategies relied primarily on acquiring, gating caves and mines to prevent disturbance of important bat colonies.
Bats, however, are highly mobile and have complex life histories and varied habitat requirements. Some species require mature forests that provide roosts in tree cavities and under bark; other species, like the African Straw-Colored Fruit Bat, Eidolon helvum, may travel each night up to 70 kilometers in one direction to visit a favorite stand of tropical fruit trees. Many species migrate, requiring conservation of critical roosting, foraging and watering habitats along their migratory routes, which can cover hundreds or thousands of miles. Effective conservation must therefore take into account each species’ unique and often complex roosting habitat requirements and the broader home ranges in which they forage and migrate. Many threats to bats also are widely distributed across the landscape. To conserve bat species effectively, BCI must work at a landscape, and in the case of migratory bats, hemispheric level.

Population(s) Served

Southwestern Subterranean programming implements multi-faceted efforts to address conservation of bats and bat habitats/roosts. Long-term conservation initiatives will benefit multiple bat species, including several imperiled bat species (pollinating and insect-eating) in this eco-region. With partners we are working at sites across the region—on private (individually held and corporate) and public lands (including US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and state-owned)—to protect bats and bat habitats. Bats are vital to Southwest ecosystem—yet are severely threatened, particularly by the disturbance and destruction of critical mine and cave roosts. Cavern dwelling species are especially sensitive to disturbance in maternity colony roosts. Bat Conservation International’s Southwestern Subterranean program will greatly advance the conservation and management of mine and cave roosts for the federally endangered lesser long-nosed bat, two highly vulnerable species, the California leaf-nosed bat and Townsend’s big-eared bat and several other species including the Mexican free-tailed and cave myotis. Because these bats congregate in large groups, they are very susceptible to human disturbance.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Bat Conservation International is dedicated to the enduring protection of the world’s 1,300+ species of bats and their habitats and creating a world in which bats and humans successfully coexist. In pursuit of this vision, during the next five years BCI will work worldwide at scale with local, regional, national and multinational public and private partners to

● Respond rapidly and effectively to bat conservation crises, preventing the extinction of threatened bats and the extirpation of globally significant populations of bats.

● Identify, prioritize and begin conserving the world’s most “Significant Bat Areas.”

● Respond strategically to broad, irreversible threats that impact bats at multiple locations around the world.

● Build a global network of conservation biologists, NGOs, corporations, public agencies, local communities and regional bat scientific networks to address global issues impacting bat species.

● Create the first actionable global bat inventory and conservation database.

● Empower the next generation of bat conservationists and scientists through strategically targeted scholarships and grants.

● Stimulate research on the most pressing scientific questions relating to the lasting protection and value of all bat species.

● Work throughout the world to develop the public policy frameworks needed to safeguard bats.

● Educate key communities and the public at large on the importance of bats, raising their profile as an order of mammals worthy of concerted attention and action.

BCI will maximize its conservation impact by focusing on ten critical conservation strategies:

1. Accelerate scientific research
2. Prevent extinctions
3. Protect intact areas with highly diverse bat communities
4. Preserve mega-populations of bats
5. Forge global and regional strategies and partnerships
6. Address threats impacting multiple species at multiple sites
7. Promote community-based conservation of bats
8. Create and help enforce legal and policy frameworks
9. Help develop and perfect important technologies
10. Invest in tomorrow's conservation leadership

BCI's 30-year record of conservation impact has been achieved through the dedication of its staff, volunteers and supporters. During the next five years, BCI will begin the transition from a U. S. organization with some international projects to a truly global organization, diversifying its Board of Directors and workforce, staying abreast of and conforming to the laws and regulations of the countries in which BCI works. BCI will invest in its staff and volunteers, providing increased training and other resources to help ensure each staff and Board member excel in their work. We will ensure we maintain the highest quality web presence, translated into an increasing number of languages, and provide our decentralized staff with the means to operate and communicate effectively despite the physical distances separating them.

White-Nose Syndrome
• To date, BCI has given $275,285.00 in research grants to 16 institutions. Now our funding efforts are shifting to support carefully targeted projects based on priorities identified by the WNS science meetings and the WNS National Strategy.
• BCI works with state and federal partners to hold an annual national White-nose Syndrome Symposium.
• We participate in projects that use new technologies to monitor important hibernacula. We provide targeted information to managers and decision-makers to assist in WNS preparedness, and establishing concepts for delivering information to our partners, the public and media.

• BCI engages in specialized training sessions on studying wind energy impacts on bats. Staff serve as expert instructors at workshops to demonstrate field techniques and data collection and analysis procedures.
• We have published articles on bats and wind energy in our BATS magazine to highlight the issues to our members and keep them informed on our research progress.
• BCI staff deliver frequent presentations at professional conferences, BCI workshops, special symposiums and industry meetings.
• BCI staff have provided professional testimony, helped develop guidelines for wind energy and wildlife, served on professional committees and participated as instructors at workshops on wind energy and wildlife.

• BCI works with diverse partners to conduct mine and cave assessments and targeted research to identify the most important abandoned mines and caves used by bats, and to address the relative threats posed to humans and bats by recreational or incidental human access to these subterranean environments.
• We also partner to install bat-friendly mine and cave gates and to conduct workshops and educational outreach events.
• We collaborate with key partners to develop and implement outreach and training events and publications, like public presentations, mine- and cave-assessment workshops, gate-construction workshops, and publications on managing mines and caves for bats.

• We conduct site-based assessments and work with managers to develop the best recommendations to protect important bat habitats and help managers accomplish their objectives.

• BCI and partners launched the first African Bat Conservation Summit in 2013.
• BCI helped launch continuing education, conservation and research initiatives in the Philippines that are blossoming into self-sustaining regional and national bat-conservation efforts.


Bat Conservation International, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Bat Conservation International, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 07/07/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Charles Chester

Danielle Gustafson

Eileen Arbues


Donald R Kendall

Kenmont Capital Partners

Andrew Sansom

Brock Fenton

Timo Hixon

Maria Mathis

Alexander Read

Nancy Simmons

Jenn Stephens

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/5/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data