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Kolar Leaf Nosed Bat

News: Bat Conservation Society which has been entrusted with drawing up a conservation plan for Kolar Leaf-Nosed Bat has also been awarded a grant to conduct further research on this species of bats. 

About 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: 

  • Bats are one of the least studied mammals in the country, though there are 130 species in India.  
  • 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 best insect cleansers by devouring and keeping them under control, fruit eating bats on the other hand are the best natural seed dispersal agents and cross pollinators and hence 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 protected area. Hence, any development work including construction of new infrastructure will need the permission of the National Board for Wildlife. 

About Bats: They are one of the least studied mammals in the country, though there are 130 species in India.  

  

They are very adaptable creatures and therefore can often be found near human habitation or even in urban settlements which makes them vulnerable. They also have a bad image in the public eye as carriers of diseases.  

  

However, the bats are absolutely vital for the ecology as they are pollinators, their main diet being nectar. The plants that bloom at night are entirely dependent on bats and moths for pollination. Bats also help in insect control and therefore, help in the protection of crops. 

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