Ukrainian bat rehabilitator won prestigious FFN award

Alona Prylutska of the Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Center (UBRC) won a prestigious FFN award. Earlier, the Center's founders (Alona herself and her colleagues Anton Vlaschenko and Ksenia Kravchenko) were grantees of the EUROBATS project initiative and actively collaborated with the Eurobats Advisory Committee.  

Alona has been fascinated with bats since her first year at university. Due to urbanisation and climate change, some bat species have started to use buildings as their home. However, this makes them at risk for being trapped or disturbed, or even killed in case of renovation or isolation work. Additionally, there is a deep-rooted fear of bats in Ukraine, working against their conservation. Alona started her conservation path by saving bats found in the city or trapped in buildings, and nursed them back to health in her own home. During the winter, bats were kept in her refrigerator since bats need cold to hibernate. Alona founded the Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Center, the only one in the country which also serves as the biggest facility for bat research in Eastern Europe. They now take in bats from all over Ukraine and have saved more than 21,000 bats of 13 species in total.

With her team, Alona organised an advocacy campaign to explain to people how they can coexist with bats. They have given many lectures and interviews, and published a great number of materials. Annually, they organise the famous Bat Release Fest where they let the public help release hundreds of rescued bats back into the wild, further improving the relationship between bats and people.

Despite the dire circumstances in Ukraine, Alona and her team have persevered and continued their important bat conservation work. They have rescued many migrating bats from abandoned buildings and organise outreach activities.

More information at https://futurefornature.org/ffn_winner/alona-prylutska/


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