Bats’ protection under the law
In Europe legislation specifically gives protection to all bats, their roosts and their habitats, with
severe penalties for interfering with bats.
In South Africa, only Otomops martiensseni enjoys such specific national legislation under
the National Biodiversity Act, but all other bats are protected under more general national legislation such as prohibition of cruelty
to animals, and prohibition of use of non-registered poisons.
Bats are also protected by provincial legislation. Provincial Nature
Conservation Ordinances provide for the protection of plants and animals though various levels of protections and schedules which
differ between provinces.
For example in KwaZulu Natal two species of bats, the large-eared free-tailed bat (Otomops martiensseni)
and the short-eared trident bat (Cloeotis percivali) are listed under the highest priority ‘Specially Protected’ category, along with
species such as the black rhino! A number of other bat species are listed under the ‘Protected’ category, where they are afforded
legal protection against human disturbance.
IT IS ILLEGAL TO KILL BATS
- except to euthanase a sick or injured bat by an approved humane
IT IS ILLEGAL TO USE ANY POISON OR CHEMICAL TO KILL BATS
IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHOOT BATS