batcenter1Lubee is a research and conservation-breeding center that houses over 200 fruit bats, located 10 miles north of Gainesville, Florida.

The feeding and breeding knowledge gained through research at the center has helped scientists and conservationists address threats to the most seriously endangered fruit bat species. This has been done through managing captive populations to maintain genetic diversity and ensure their long-term survival. Educators can then provide information about the key ecological and economic role that fruit and nectar bats play in human communities around the globe.

batcenter2As an international non-profit, Lubee works with a team of conservation scientists, educators, and zoological institutions across the world. Lubee links field studies with research and training at the Bat Center to enhance the community’s capacity to conserve fruit and nectar bats and their essential ecosystem services through education outreach. Centers like Lubee have gained extensive recognition for their significant impact on key science fields and cross-disciplinary areas by integrating people, ideas and tools into their research and training.

Lubee’s focus on the critical relationship between bats, ecosystems, and human health provides an ideal teaching tool and unique opportunity to address key research questions about bats. Through utilizing its unique living animal collection to facilitate research, a greater understanding of the biology and ecology of fruit and flower bats, as well as improved conservation management of wild and captive populations, can be reached.

This insight is obtained in part by a highly qualified keeping staff that cares for the bats. Lubee is a USDA registered exhibition and research facility. It is also a certified member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, although it is not open to the public on a regular basis. Veterinary staff and services are provided by the University of Florida’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Main Goals of the Center

  • Forge cross-disciplinary studies and collaborative research on bat biology and ecology.
  • Promote training opportunities for scientists and students in the fields of bat biology, genetics, physiology and ecology.
  • Transfer conservation science knowledge directly to the public through informal science education and publications.

Bat Center Facilities and Services

Lubee’s research and training programs are managed by director Brian Pope, who is working to establish international programs that will take the center’s science from the lab to the field. Brian has been a zoological professional for many years specializing in animal care and behavioral studies.

Educational facilities include a dedicated education room for discussions and displays for children, including the use of Woods Haven Retreat Center for workshops, meetings and even overnight stays.

The center maintains modern facilities for research and captive study of fruit and nectar bats. Bats are housed in specially-designed facilities, including temperature-controlled roost quarters and outdoor circular flight enclosures. Food preparation and distribution facilities include a kitchen, freezers and walk-in cold storage. Veterinary facilities include an examination room equipped for anesthesia and recovery rooms with incubator and isolation facilities.

Standard laboratory equipment available for use by researchers includes refrigerators, freezers, microscopes, balances, centrifuge, and night vision video equipment. A small library, which holds many important references, is available to Lubee staff and resident investigators. The center additionally maintains a tissue bank. Requests for samples and forms to conduct research at Lubee are available by contacting the director at  director@lubee.org.