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AfricanBats NPC Code of Conduct

All Associates of AfricanBats NPC subscribe to the AfricanBats NPC Code of Conduct laid down by the Association. The Code of Conduct should be signed by each Associate on joining the Association.

The present Code of Conduct is as follows:-



This code of conduct is not a body of law, but rather a cannon for self-regulation. It is a basic responsibility of the bat and biodiversity community to formulate the principles and virtues of education, capacity building, monitoring, evaluation, assessment, tourism, scientific and scholarly research, to define its criteria for proper behaviour for each of the discipline and/or business, and to set its own house in order in case our scientific and ethical integrity is threatened.

Best Practice Principles

I adhere to contribute to the development and evaluation of the currently accepted best practice principles as applied to all aspects of bat and biodiversity work. I and those under my supervision/guidance will adhere to the currently accepted best practice principles as defined or adopted by AfricanBats NPC from time to time.

Personal Health and Safety and those under my tutorage, and or leadership

I adhere to have had rabies inoculations and to have regular rabies titre check-ups, and when necessary to have booster rabies shots. Those individuals who cannot show proof that they are presently covered for rabies, will not be allowed to handle bats or other mammals under my care or supervision. When handling bats or other mammals, appropriate gloves will be worn, to reduce the risks of being bitten and scratched. Care will also be taken to avoid any contact with bat body fluids such as faecal and urine. Washing of hands with soap and water, and the spraying of gloves and other items used in the handling of bats and other mammals with a 10% bleach solution (as outlined in the decontamination procedures document). When entering a bat roost I will follow the basic recommended health and safety recommendations. 

Transference of pathogens between sites

I adhere to disinfect equipment and clothing, with appropriate disinfection methods as outlined in the disinfection best practice, as amended from time to time, especially where moving between geographic regions. Bat roost sites should be viewed as separate sites and decontamination procedures for these should be undertaken as if they were different geographic regions.

Bat roost disturbance

I adhere to take into consideration the reasons for entering a bat roost, and evaluate if it is justifiable and necessary. I will use the tools developed by AfricanBats NPC to aid me in best practice decision making. I understand that both maternity and hibernacula roosts sites are sensitive where the disturbance of maternity or hibernacula roosts sites may lead to the abandonment of this site by the bats. While the disturbance of bats during hibernation, and their arousal due to human disturbance can lead to the loss of 60% of the fat reserves of the individual which may lead to decreased survival probability for the remainder of winter.

Ethics and responsible science information

I adhere to contribute to and promote the open exchange of ideas, research methods, data and results and their discussion, scrutiny and debate, subject to any considerations of confidentiality. I will, to the best of my ability, give accurate and scientifically defensible information to colleagues and the general public. I will conduct all monitoring, evaluations, assessments and research with scientific integrity and honesty. I have a responsibility to ensure that a culture of research integrity prevails. This includes clear policies and procedures, training and mentoring of citizen scientists, volunteers, associates and researchers at all stages of their development and careers, and robust management procedures to ensure that high standards are observed and any transgression is identified.

Adherence to law, regulations and customs

When conducting bat fieldwork I will obtain the necessary permissions to undertake the bat and/or biodiversity related fieldwork. I will adhere to and support all Country‘s constitution, laws and regulations, especially those of conservation and I undertake to assist those under my guidance to respect local laws, regulations and customs, with special emphasis on nature conservation.

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