OU team rediscovers endangered bat
OU team rediscovers endangered bat, The bat research team of the zoology department, Osmania University (OU), under the leadership of Dr C Srinivasulu, have rediscovered the endangered Kolar leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros hypophyllus).
The bat research team of the zoology department, Osmania University (OU), under the leadership of Dr C Srinivasulu, have rediscovered the endangered Kolar leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros hypophyllus). The bat is an endemic Hipposideridae (Old World leafnose bats) from Karnataka and is categorised as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. It was once common in the caves of Hanumanhalli and Therahalli in Kolar. However, the species has not been sighted since it was first spotted in 1994 and no information about its population or habitat, ecology exists. Surveys conducted after 1994 did not yield in successful sighting of this species and its status was unknown. The team from OU conducted field surveys in Kolar district to search this enigmatic animal.
The existence of the species has been detected in surveys carried out in November and December 2013. Subsequent observations reveal that the species is present only in a subterranean cave in Hanumanhalli in Kolar district, Karnataka. Despite efforts, the species could not be detected at Therahalli.
The Kolar leaf-nosed bat is unique among all the leaf-nosed bats of the world in possessing only one pair of supplementary leaflets. As per research, this species is confined to a single subterranean cave in Hanumanhalli village in Kolar.
“A rough estimate puts the viable population of the species to be between 200-300 mammals in the cave. Equally disheartening is the threat of on-going illegal granite mining activity to the roost and the habitat of this rare, endemic and endangered species. Few abandoned roosts were also observed in the vicinity showing signs of roost burning for quarrying purposes,” the team said.
“There is an urgent need to put an end to the mining activity happening at the cave site and accord protection to the species, lest it becomes lost to us in its entirety,” they added.
The scientific expedition results of the OU team have been published in the recent issue of the journal Threatened Taxa – an international journal of conservation and taxonomy.