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Conservation of flying-foxes is dependent upon a greater understanding by the general public of their role in the environment and their behavioural characteristics. Negative stereotypes and attitudes perpetuated through the media can have a detrimental impact on their conservation.

Since 1985 the Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society (KBCS) has been running a bat education program in Sydney. This program aims to increase public knowledge and understanding of flying-foxes and microbats in order to improve their profile and assist in the development of more positive attitudes and a greater understanding toward bats species in general. A key feature of the program is the opportunity for people to observe at close quarters a live flying-fox with an experienced bat handler and educator.

In 1996 a study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of this education program on upper primary school-aged children. The results of this study indicated that this program increased student knowledge on bats as well as assisted in changing negative attitudes held toward them by some students.

Further studies would need to be conducted to determine whether the recorded changes were of an enduring nature.

Ballantyne, R. and Packer, J. 1996 Teaching and learning in Environmental Education: Developing Environmental Conceptions Journal of Environmental Education 27 (2): 25-32.
Bennett, D. B. 1988 Four steps to Evaluating Environmental Education Learning Experiences Journal of Environmental Education 20 (2): 14-21.
Cohen, M. 1973 Environmental Education versus Environmental Attitudes. Journal of Environmental Education 5 (2): 5-8.
Fenton, M. B. 1985 Introducing People to Bats. Bats 2 (2) Bat Conservation International.
Ford, D. 1996 Bat Education: Student Outcomes and Future Directions. Unpublished Masters research project, Graduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University.
Fortner, R. and Teates, T. 1980 Baseline Studies for Marine Education: Experiences related to Marine Knowledge and Attitudes. Journal of Environmental Education 11 (4): 11-19.
Gabel, D., Kagen, M., and Sherwood, R. 1980 A Summary of Research in Science Education - 1978 Science Education 64 (4): 512-515.
Holtz, R. 1976 Nature Centres, Environmental Attitudes and Objectives. Journal of Environmental Education 7 (3): 34-37.
Iozzi, L. A. 1989 What Research says to the Educator, Part One: Environmental Education and the Affective Domain. Jounal of Environmental Education 20 (3): 3-9.
Kinsey, P. 1979 A Study of the Defensibility of Environmental Attitudes: Instrument Development and Experimental Testing of Defensibility Related to Knowledge. Dissertation Abstacts 39 (10): 6046 - A.
Moore, R. 1981 Energy Related Information - Attitude Measures of College Age Students. Journal of Environmental Education 12 (3): 30-33.
Moyer, R. 1977 Environmental Attitude Assessment: Another Approach. Science Education 61 (3): 347-356.
Saunders, D. A. 1990 The Landscape Approach to Conservation: Community Involvement, The Only Practical Solution. Australian Zoologist 26: 49-53.
Zimmerman, L. K. 1996 Knowledge, Affect and the Environment: 15 Years of Research. (1979-1993) Journal of Environmental Education 27 (3): 41-43.
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References

Ballantyne, R. and Packer, J. 1996 Teaching and learning in Environmental Education: Developing Environmental Conceptions Journal of Environmental Education 27 (2): 25-32.
Bennett, D. B. 1988 Four steps to Evaluating Environmental Education Learning Experiences Journal of Environmental Education 20 (2): 14-21.
Cohen, M. 1973 Environmental Education versus Environmental Attitudes. Journal of Environmental Education 5 (2): 5-8.
Fenton, M. B. 1985 Introducing People to Bats. Bats 2 (2) Bat Conservation International.
Ford, D. 1996 Bat Education: Student Outcomes and Future Directions. Unpublished Masters research project, Graduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University.
Fortner, R. and Teates, T. 1980 Baseline Studies for Marine Education: Experiences related to Marine Knowledge and Attitudes. Journal of Environmental Education 11 (4): 11-19.
Gabel, D., Kagen, M., and Sherwood, R. 1980 A Summary of Research in Science Education - 1978 Science Education 64 (4): 512-515.
Holtz, R. 1976 Nature Centres, Environmental Attitudes and Objectives. Journal of Environmental Education 7 (3): 34-37.
Iozzi, L. A. 1989 What Research says to the Educator, Part One: Environmental Education and the Affective Domain. Jounal of Environmental Education 20 (3): 3-9.
Kinsey, P. 1979 A Study of the Defensibility of Environmental Attitudes: Instrument Development and Experimental Testing of Defensibility Related to Knowledge. Dissertation Abstacts 39 (10): 6046 - A.
Moore, R. 1981 Energy Related Information - Attitude Measures of College Age Students. Journal of Environmental Education 12 (3): 30-33.
Moyer, R. 1977 Environmental Attitude Assessment: Another Approach. Science Education 61 (3): 347-356.
Saunders, D. A. 1990 The Landscape Approach to Conservation: Community Involvement, The Only Practical Solution. Australian Zoologist 26: 49-53.
Zimmerman, L. K. 1996 Knowledge, Affect and the Environment: 15 Years of Research. (1979-1993) Journal of Environmental Education 27 (3): 41-43.
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