Wednesday, 23 Jul, 2008 Environment

More Than 100 Bat Species Found on Only 5 Acres of Jungle


Over 100 bat species were discovered on a territory of just 5 acres (2 hectares) in Ecuadorian rain forest. Despite the fact that all of the bat species are not new, researchers from the Tiputini Biodiversity Station say that this is the highest number of bat species ever found in one place.

The reason why such a large number of bat species live on a small territory is that the tropical rainforest Tiputini offers a rich menu to the bats. Some bats eat frogs, insects, fruit, and nectar, others munch on fish and vampire bats are satisfied with their blood meal.

Together with her colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, located in Berlin, Germany, Katja Rex spent several months catching bats and categorizing species. She worked in 3 tropical rain forests: La Selva Biological Station, a lowland rain forest located in Costa Rica; Podocarpus National Park, a highland rain forest found in southern Ecuador and Tiputini.

Besides Tiputini, researchers found rich diversity of bat species in a number of other tropical forests, including 72 species found at La Selva and over 30 bat species discovered in Podocarpus. The findings were published in a recent issue of the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

David Hill, who works as a bat expert at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, did not participate in the study. "To have one hundred species in such a small area is remarkable, as it represents 9 percent of all bat species," mentioned Hill.

Source: National Geographic

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