Bats comprise one of the most diverse groups of mammals in the world, with over 1,400 species worldwide. People that study and appreciate bats are equally as diverse. The mission of the Western Bat Working Group (WBWG) is to facilitate communication among our membership, make information on bat ecology and research techniques easily accessible, and provide a forum in which conservation strategies can be discussed, technical assistance provided, and education programs encouraged. We are committed to providing a climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion to help us work towards these goals.
The fields of conservation and wildlife biology have long recognized the value of diversity, with conferences, journals, and organizations prioritizing and celebrating “biodiversity”. However, diversity in career and experience opportunities have not been nearly as well celebrated or prioritized. WBWG wants to create a climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Just as our membership is interested in the interactions of bat species, communities, and individuals, WBWG wants to increase our membership’s understanding, appreciation, and interaction with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. WBWG will expand opportunities to people from underrepresented identities interested in bat conservation and biology by increasing opportunities for experiences, conferences, and research.
WBWG will develop and maintain an inclusive climate, in which all people are welcome to advance the conservation of bats in western North America for the benefit of current and future generations, regardless of socio-economic status, race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity. WBWG will develop a membership that reflects on its implicit biases, understands how individual experiences affect perceptions and priorities, recognizes how our actions affect those with different experiences and backgrounds, and commits overcoming barriers to cross-cultural communication.

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