Mexican bats and tequila


This video says about itself:

27 January 2017

As a nectar feeder, the lesser long-nosed bat follows the trail of cactus blooms between Mexico and the U.S. One of the plants it also plays a major role in pollinating is agave, which gives us tequila.

Rare bat winters in Dutch Zeeland


This is a Geoffroy’s bat video from Belgium.

Translated from Dutch Vroege Vogels radio:

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Geoffroy’s bat was found during the annual count of bats in the World War II bunker in Burgh-Haamstede in Zeeland province. It is the first time that this very rare species has been observed in Zeeland. …

Geoffroy’s bats in the Netherlands live almost exclusively in South Limburg limestone quarries. The census also reported several hundred wintering Daubenton’s bats, as well as some 30 Natterer’s bats, some 20 brown long-eared bats and two whiskered bats.

Vampire bats drink human blood after habitat damage


This 2012 video is called Vampire Bats | World’s Weirdest.

From the International Business Times:

A new species of vampire bat has started to feed on human blood

Hairy-legged bat was thought to feed only on bird blood, but human disruption of its habitat made it change tack.

By Martha Henriques

January 12, 2017 10:37 GMT

Updated 1 hr ago

A South American species of hairy-legged vampire bat that was thought to feed only on birds has been caught feeding on human blood for the first time, prompting concerns about disease transmission in the country if the bats become rabid.

Scientists studying bat poo found in three out of 15 samples from the bats, living in the Caatinga dry forests of north-east Brazil, there were traces of DNA from human blood, according to a study published in the journal Acta Chiropterologica.

The bat species studied is usually a fastidious eater and only feeds on bird blood, which has a very different composition compared with mammal blood. But the bats are adapting fast, and the scientists noted significant and regular consumption of human blood.

The scientists say that human activity is likely to be the cause in the bats’ changing tastes.

“The record of humans as prey and the absence of blood from native species may reflect a low availability of wild birds in the study site, reinforcing the impact of human activities on local ecological processes,” the study authors write in the paper.

Humans are increasingly inhabiting the forests, bringing domestic animals with them. The birds – such as guans and tinamous– that are the bats’ favoured source of blood are being driven out of the area.

“We were quite surprised,” study author Enrico Bernard of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, told the New Scientist. “This species isn’t adapted to feed on the blood of mammals.”

Bats are known to transmit rabies in Brazil, with outbreaks of the disease killing 23 people in northern Brazil within two months in 2005. A total of 55 cases of rabies in humans were reported in the Amazon region.

Human activity has previously been linked to the prevalence of bat-related rabies outbreaks in South America, with the introduction of livestock and landscape modification being key factors affecting the bats’ feeding habits and disease transmission.

Recovering bats get flying lessons


This 14 February 2013 is called Peter Twisk – Monitoring Nathusius’ pipistrelle with the use of bat boxes?

Translated from Dutch Vroege Vogels radio:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ecologist Peter Twisk is doing something very special: he trains bats to fly. At various places in the Netherlands there are rehab centres for injured bats. Often these are young animals which have lost their parents. Many of them are set free after recovery. Some young bats cannot fly properly. Therefore, Peter Twisk gives them ‘flying lessons’ in his own living room.

The radio this morning said Peter Twisk is the only person in the Netherlands doing that. At the moment, he has three bat ‘pupils’ in his home: a female lesser noctule bat which had been injured; her baby; and a serotine bat.

In the morning, when Peter Twisk eats his breakfast, the bats do so as well: mealworms.

Peter Twisk hopes he will be able to set the bats free in some weeks’ time.

Bats fly faster than birds


This video from Colorado in the USA is called Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats.

From Royal Society Open Science:

Airplane tracking documents the fastest flight speeds recorded for bats

Gary F. McCracken, Kamran Safi, Thomas H. Kunz, Dina K. N. Dechmann, Sharon M. Swartz, Martin Wikelski

Published 9 November 2016

Abstract

The performance capabilities of flying animals reflect the interplay of biomechanical and physiological constraints and evolutionary innovation. Of the two extant groups of vertebrates that are capable of powered flight, birds are thought to fly more efficiently and faster than bats.

However, fast-flying bat species that are adapted for flight in open airspace are similar in wing shape and appear to be similar in flight dynamics to fast-flying birds that exploit the same aerial niche.

Here, we investigate flight behaviour in seven free-flying Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) and report that the maximum ground speeds achieved exceed speeds previously documented for any bat. Regional wind modelling indicates that bats adjusted flight speeds in response to winds by flying more slowly as wind support increased and flying faster when confronted with crosswinds, as demonstrated for insects, birds and other bats.

Increased frequency of pauses in wing beats at faster speeds suggests that flap-gliding assists the bats’ rapid flight. Our results suggest that flight performance in bats has been underappreciated and that functional differences in the flight abilities of birds and bats require re-evaluation.

These bats can fly at 160 kilometer an hour speed; while swifts, the fastest birds, can fly 112 kilometer an hour.

Saving bats in Fiji


This video says about itself:

24 April 2011

Here we have a fruit bat enjoying a ripe papaya in the backyard of the house in Savusavu. A bat is a mammal and there are lots of them here in Fiji.

From BirdLife:

What does the Bat say??…..SAVE ME

By Steve Cranwell and Sialesi Rasalato, 30 Oct 2016

Bats are the only remaining native mammals that survive the gruelling impacts of mother-nature, developments, poaching and invasive alien species predation in Fiji and likewise in most Pacific countries. Studies reveal that there are six species of bats in Fiji, three of which are cave dwelling; Fijian Blossom bat (Notopteris macdonaldi), Pacific Sheath-tailed bat (Emballonura semicaudata), the Fijian Free-tailed bat (Tadarida bregullae), and three are tree dwelling; Samoan Flying fox (Pteropus samoensis), Pacific Flying fox or the Insular Flying fox (Pteropus tonganus ) and the Fiji Flying fox (Mirimiri acrodonta). All six species of bats are native, of which one is endemic, the Fiji Flying fox.

BirdLife International’s Sialesi Rasalato has been providing technical support to Fiji partner organisation, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti on various projects over the years and one in particular is its current work on the conservation of the endangered Fijian Free-tailed bat (also known as the Fijian Mastiff bat) – one of its species based project.

The Fijian Mastiff bat roosting sites are only found in Nakanacagi, a village on Vanua Levu, the second largest island in the Fiji group; and in Santo and Malo Islands in Vanuatu. NatureFiji-MareqetiViti and is partners has been working tirelessly at the Nakanacagi cave, carrying out community awareness since 2012. Sia has local connections and his links and enthusiasm have been a big part of getting local support. With funding received from Bat Conservation International in 2014, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti was able to acquire fieldwork technical support from The University of the South Pacific’s Institute of Applied Science and from BirdLife International – a classic example of conservation organisations teaming up to undertake a common goal. Activities orchestrated included mapping of the cave and its boundaries, a two year population assessment (2014 and 2015), organising community awareness and consultations with the local resource users and landowners.

As a result of this continuous organised awareness, local resource users have all agreed to put to a stop the harvesting of the Fiji Mastiff bat and the collecting of bat guano for farming purposes. A road that the locals follow to reach their farms and plantations has also been diverted from its original route (which crosses the cave tunnels) to a mere track circumnavigating the roosting site. Decades of trampling this track have resulted in parts of the cave falling off and forming spontaneous cave-ins. Resource users have been advised to follow a controlled method of burning while clearing their farms. Forests surrounding the cave were previously battered with bush fires which are evident and illustrates a very unpleasant sight.

Even though the momentum of implementing sustainable practices and gaining a protection status is gradual, the team involved in this project have started planning future activities which generally revolves around the management, protection, betterment and rehabilitation of the roosting site and its surrounding areas. The success story behind this is that the landowners together with the resource users are supportive of the project and discussions are underway so as to secure the caves in perpetuity in protecting the Fiji Mastiff bat population.

The project is a collaboration between NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, Bat Conservation International, University of the South Pacific, National Trust of Fiji, Department of Cooperative – Fiji, Matasawalevu Farmers’ Cooperative, Community of Nakanacagi, Amrit Sen Solicitors and BirdLife International, with the support of the Fiji National Protected Areas Committee.

Biggest Daubenton’s bats colony found


This video shows Daubenton’s bats at the Kapellbrücke bridge in Lucerne in Switzerland in 2007.

Research has found out that the biggest Daubenton’s bats colony in the Netherlands is in the church of Metslawier village in Friesland province: 270 bats.

These animals eat mainly moths and mosquitoes.