The Lubee Bat Conservancy is located in Gainesville, FL. Visitors to the Bat Conservancy get to see the bats that call the Conservancy home as well as learn about the research being done and the ways conservation is saving these bat species. The Lubee Bat Conservancy was established as a not-for-profit by Luis F. Bacardi in 1989.

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History

Bacardi had a passion for helping endangered wildlife especially bats. He passed away in 1991 and The Conservancy was endowed partially as a bequest from the late Bacardi’s estate. The endowment, along with donations and grants is the reason Lubee has been functioning over the last twenty-five years. Lubee is not funded by or linked in any way to the rum company with the Bacardi name.

The Lubee Bat Conservatory name is a derivative of its founder's name (Luis Bacardi). Bacardi spent his life preserving endangered species and played a pivotal role in ensuring the survival of flying foxes all over the Pacific. In 1990 the Pacific Island Flying Fox Declaration was the result of the support Lubee showed for an innovative conference that was held in the Pacific Islands. The Declaration promises to guard against over-exploitation of bats and the severe loss of rain forests that these bats depend on.

The Lubee Bat Conservancy is a ranch encompassing one hundred and ten acres that was used as an area for holding animals that were being transferred to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Bat Conservancy continues to maintain a very close professional relationship with Disney.

Attractions

The Lubee Bat Conservancy acts as a conservation-breeding and research center. Visitors to the center will get to view the more than two-hundred fruit bats that call the center home as well as learn about the current research and conservation efforts the facility is making on their scheduled tour.

The Bat Center- Lubee works with conservation scientists and zoological organizations around the world. The facility connects field studies with training and research at the Bat Center to boost the community’s ability to conserve nectar and fruit bats along with the ecosystem services offered through educational outreach. The focus of the Bat Conservancy is on the important relationship between human health, bats, and ecosystems. This offers an important teaching tool and unusual opportunity to focus on major research questions on bats.

The Center’s main goals are to create cross-disciplinary collaborative research and studies on the ecology and biology of bats; encourage opportunities for training for students and scientists in the fields of bat genetics, ecology, biology, and physiology; and to educate the public through the use of casual publications and science education.

Educational Opportunities

The Bat Center offers training a research programs through their educational training facilities. Some of these facilities include an education room with displays where discussions for children are held.

The Woods Haven Retreat Center is a three thousand square foot house built in the ranch-style. It used to be the residence of Luis Bacardi and is used today for graduate students and scientists to stay in when studying the bats that live at the Lubee Bat Conservancy. This Center also contains a large suite of meeting room for holding workshops, meetings, and retreats.

Volunteering also offers educational opportunities for those who do it. Volunteers are required to work at least sixteen hours a month. Volunteers working at the Conservancy learn about bats as well as develop helpful skills for their future careers in conservation and animal work.

Internships are also offered through the Lubee Bat Conservancy. These internships help interns gain professional experience in the care of animals. Interns are tasked with the daily activities associated with being an animal keeper. Some of these activities include nutrition, husbandry, training, enrichment, and educating guests. The objectives of the internship are as follows:

· Learn from professionals in animal care how to carry out basic duties such as husbandry, cleaning the exhibits, preparing foods and enhancement activities, helping with enhancements to the environments, giving medications, assisting or observing vet practices, and maintenance of the grounds.

· Interns will learn how to implement and develop animal enhancement programs

· Interns will train in both formal and informal interpretive instructional programs for outreach audiences and guests.

· Interns will also learn to follow animal and keeper guidelines for policies, operations, and safety.

· Interns will also get the opportunity to develop and complete a project

· At the end of the internship, interns will give a short summary of the project to the staff of the Lubee Bat Conservancy.

The Bat Conservancy offers a service for building Bat Houses on residents of the community’s properties and teach them what species are found on the property and how to provide a warm, safe area for the bats to live and take care of their babies.

1309 NW 192nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609, Phone: 352-485-1250

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