News Round-Up

IUCN Bat Specialist Group recommended strategy for bat researchers during COVID-19 pandemic


We don’t yet know whether humans can pass SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) to animals in the wild. There have been a number of cases where dogs, cats (both domestic pets and big cats in a zoo) and mink have tested positive for the virus following close contact with owners/handlers, who were known or suspected to have had COVID-19. So wildlife researchers are taking appropriate precautions until scientists understand more about transmission risks from humans to other animals.

The IUCN Bat Specialist Group (IUCN BSG) has published its ‘Recommended Strategy for Researchers to

Reduce the Risk of Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Humans to Bats – MAP: Minimize, Assess, Protect’. This guidance has been produced by a global panel (including contributors from the UK) with expertise ranging from bat ecology to virology. In preparing the guidance for bat researchers the panel assessed the available scientific evidence for human-to-bat transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and the efficacy of risk mitigation strategies. MORE