Kolar Leaf Nosed Bat

Kolar Leaf Nosed BatAbout the Species: It is a species of bat in the family Hipposideridae. 
Conservation Status: IUCN: Critically Endangered 

Habitat: It is endemic to India and is currently only known from one cave in Hanumanahalli village in Kolar district, Karnataka. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and caves.
Characteristics:

The Kolar leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros hypophyllus), or leafletted leaf-nosed bat is a species of bat in the family Hipposideridae. It is found in only one cave in India, and its population is less than 200 individuals.

Threats: They are threatened by illegal granite mining occurring in the close vicinity of its only known roost.(In a subterranean cave which is on a monolithic granite hill). It has been reported to have abandoned two other roosts due to fires lit for the easier extraction of granite.

Significance:

  • Though there are 130 species in India, Bats are one of the least studied mammals in the country.
  • They are very adaptable creatures and therefore can often be found near human habitation or even in urban settlements, which makes them vulnerable.
  • Bats also have a bad image in the public eye, as carriers of diseases. But the truth is, bats are absolutely vital for the ecology as they are pollinators, their main diet being nectar.
  • While insectivorous bats act as the best insect cleansers by devouring and keeping them under control. On the other hand, fruit-eating bats are the best natural seed dispersal agents and cross pollinators. Hence, bats play a vital role in regeneration.
  • Many species of fruiting trees depend on these bats for dispersal and regeneration.

Conservation Measures: Karnataka Government has notified the 30 acres around the caves as a protected area. Hence, any development work including the construction of new infrastructure will need the permission of the National Board for Wildlife.

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