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Endangered bat species thrives in Meghalaya

By The Assam Tribune
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KHLIEHRIAT (MEGHALAYA), Aug 6 - Wrougton�s free-tailed bats, one of the world�s rarest bat species with just around 200 recorded individuals present, are �thriving� in caves deep inside the jungles of Meghalaya�s East Jaintia Hills district, where researchers have found many newborns.

�These bats usually breed and give birth in the monsoon taking advantage of food availability and warm, humid weather condition in their territory. Recently we found out that these rare bats are multiplying and a good number of newborns were sighted,� biologist and researcher Khlur Mukhim told this news agency.

During the cave expedition last week, over 10 baby bats were found in the colony, he said.

The news was hailed by international researchers who felt the State government should undertake intensive efforts for protecting the environment in and around the area.

�It is indeed very good news that the Otomops (Wrougton�s free-tailed bats) are breeding in Meghalaya. Great care should be taken in protecting the endangered species, so as not to further compromise with their vulnerability,� an England-based researcher and biologist Adora Thabah Tyler said.

�I do feel that considering their numbers it will not take a lot for them to be disturbed as they would be and are very sensitive to noise and light,� she said.

According to the researchers, these bats usually leave their colony after sunset and return to the caves during twilight hours.

So the exercise to verify the presence of the babies was conducted after sunset when the adult bats had left the colony leaving the mothers and newborns back.

Last week, as predicted, Mukhim found a number of babies and a few lactating mother bats, babysitting and guarding them at night, when all other bats had left to forage for food.

�This indicated that the rare Wroughton�s free-tailed bats are thriving in Meghalaya,� he said.

Wrougton�s bats, according to Mukhim, are so rare that there are less than 200 recorded individuals in the world today. � PTI

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Endangered bat species thrives in Meghalaya

KHLIEHRIAT (MEGHALAYA), Aug 6 - Wrougton�s free-tailed bats, one of the world�s rarest bat species with just around 200 recorded individuals present, are �thriving� in caves deep inside the jungles of Meghalaya�s East Jaintia Hills district, where researchers have found many newborns.

�These bats usually breed and give birth in the monsoon taking advantage of food availability and warm, humid weather condition in their territory. Recently we found out that these rare bats are multiplying and a good number of newborns were sighted,� biologist and researcher Khlur Mukhim told this news agency.

During the cave expedition last week, over 10 baby bats were found in the colony, he said.

The news was hailed by international researchers who felt the State government should undertake intensive efforts for protecting the environment in and around the area.

�It is indeed very good news that the Otomops (Wrougton�s free-tailed bats) are breeding in Meghalaya. Great care should be taken in protecting the endangered species, so as not to further compromise with their vulnerability,� an England-based researcher and biologist Adora Thabah Tyler said.

�I do feel that considering their numbers it will not take a lot for them to be disturbed as they would be and are very sensitive to noise and light,� she said.

According to the researchers, these bats usually leave their colony after sunset and return to the caves during twilight hours.

So the exercise to verify the presence of the babies was conducted after sunset when the adult bats had left the colony leaving the mothers and newborns back.

Last week, as predicted, Mukhim found a number of babies and a few lactating mother bats, babysitting and guarding them at night, when all other bats had left to forage for food.

�This indicated that the rare Wroughton�s free-tailed bats are thriving in Meghalaya,� he said.

Wrougton�s bats, according to Mukhim, are so rare that there are less than 200 recorded individuals in the world today. � PTI

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