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Can Pteropus giganteus Brünnich, 1782 co-exist in a human dominated landscape? A case study in Pokhara valley, western Nepal


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Pteropus giganteus Brunnich, 1782 is the largest species of bat found in Nepal. Among the 20 colonies of P. giganteus recorded in Nepal, Chinnedanda, in the Pokhara valley, has been one of the most important diurnal roost sites for many decades, hosting a colony with up to 500 individuals. The existence of this species in Chinnedanda is threatened due to habitat encroachment and cutting of preferred roosting trees (Bombax ceiba and Dendrocalamus strictus) by local residents. Here we describe the effect of house construction on the colony and its shift from Chinnedanda to Shanti Banbatika, a nearby (4 km away) alternative roost. Monthly roost count surveys were conducted from July 2016 to December 2017 in order to understand the changes in numbers of roosting bats at both sites. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to assess the effect of building construction on the colony in Chinnedanda. Our findings indicate that the effects of building construction on the bats roosting at Chinnedanda became significantly more evident after four months of construction and suggest that the cutting of preferred roosting vegetation (Dendrocalamus strictus) for construction of buildings to use as scaffolding resources was the main factor causing the colony to relocate to Shanti Banbatika. Shanti Banbatika is now the primary roost site for P. giganteus in the Pokhara valley. The forest grove at this location should be preserved and human disturbances minimized to maintain it as a suitable roost for P. giganteus in future.
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Journal of Bat Research & Conservaon Volume 11 (1) 2018
Journal of
Bat Research and Conservaon
DOI: 10.14709/BarbJ.11.1.2018.06
Can Pteropus giganteus Brünnich, 1782 co-exist in a human dominated
landscape? A case study in Pokhara valley, western Nepal
Basant Sharma¹,2,3,*, Anoj Subedi³, Kritagya Gyawali¹, ³, Prashant Ghimire³, Bhuwan Singh Bist³
Sanjeev Baniya¹,²,³
1 Bat Friends Pokhara, Nepal.
2 Nepal Bat Research and
Conservation Union (NeBRCU).
3 Instute of Forestry (IOF
Pokhara), Tribhuvan University,
*Corresponding author e-mail:
DOI: hps://
Keywords: bamboo harvest,
Dendrocalamus strictus,
encroachment, housing, Nepal,
Pokhara valley, Pteropus
received: March, 08th 2018
accepted: July, 21st 2018
Pteropus giganteus Brunnich, 1782 is the largest species of bat found in Nepal. Among the
20 colonies of P. giganteus recorded in Nepal, Chinnedanda, in the Pokhara valley, has been
one of the most important diurnal roost sites for many decades, hosng a colony with up to
500 individuals. The existence of this species in Chinnedanda is threatened due to habitat
encroachment and cung of preferred roosng trees (Bombax ceiba and Dendrocalamus
strictus) by local residents. Here we describe the eect of house construcon on the colony
and its shi from Chinnedanda to Shan Banbaka, a nearby (4 km away) alternave roost.
Monthly roost count surveys were conducted from July 2016 to December 2017 in order
to understand the changes in numbers of roosng bats at both sites. Pearson correlaon
coecients were calculated to assess the eect of building construcon on the colony in
Chinnedanda. Our ndings indicate that the eects of building construcon on the bats
roosng at Chinnedanda became signicantly more evident aer four months of construcon
and suggest that the cung of preferred roosng vegetaon (Dendrocalamus strictus) for
construcon of buildings to use as scaolding resources was the main factor causing the
colony to relocate to Shan Banbaka. Shan Banbaka is now the primary roost site for P.
giganteus in the Pokhara valley. The forest grove at this locaon should be preserved and
human disturbances minimized to maintain it as a suitable roost for P. giganteus in future.
Urbanizaon is a major process of land use change that has
considerably transformed habitats and landscapes available
to wildlife (Russo & Ancilloo 2015). The on-going massive
growth of urban areas has resulted in the replacement of
original habitats in most areas of the world (Baker & Harris
2007). Many studies have found that urbanizaon may have
detrimental eects to the natural communies including:
habitat loss and fragmentaon (Scolozzi & Genele 2012)
and may inuence species distribuon, abundance and
movements (Tait et al. 2014). Urbanizaon either leads to
species exclusion or behavioral adjustment, from foraging
paerns to breeding ming (Lowry et al. 2013). Among other
urban species, bats are a highly diverse group of mammals
that occur worldwide and several species persist in cies
and towns (Jung & Kalko 2011). Due to the coexistence
with human populaons in urban landscape, some species
may eventually come into conict with humans over living
space and food (Sedhain & Adhikary 2016), causing impacts
such as vegetaon damage, risk of disease transmission or
dierent living disturbance such as smell and noise (López-
Baucells et al. 2017). Considering the populaon growth of
humans worldwide and the growing demands for access to
land, a greater understanding of the impacts of urbanizaon
on wildlife is urgently needed to provide beer conservaon
strategies for species and their habitats.
Old world fruits bats are members of the family
Pteropodidae which is composed of 42 genera and about 182
species worldwide (Simmons 2005, Wilson & Miermeier
2009), including 13 species in South Asia (Srinivasulu et
al. 2010). Pteropus is one of two genera known as ying
foxes and is the most species-rich genus in the family, with
about 60 species globally (Simmons 2005) and four species
in South Asia, including two that are endemic: Pteropus
faunulus and P. melanotus (Srinivasulu et al. 2010). Flying
foxes mainly forage for fruit and owers, with some traveling
up to 50-100 km daily to nd food (Roberts et al. 2012). Five
species of pteropodids are known from Nepal, four of which
are relavely widespread: Pteropus giganteus (Brünnich
1782), Rouseus leschenaul (Desmarest 1820), Cynopterus
sphinx (Vahl 1797) and Eonycteris spelaea (Dobson 1871).
Sphaerias blanfordi (Thomas 1891) has been recorded only
once in Nepal (Leekagul & McNeely 1977, Acharya et al.
The Indian ying fox (Pteropus giganteus) is the largest
bat found in Nepal (Acharya et al. 2010). It is listed as Least
Concern on the IUCN Red List and Naonal Red List although
its populaon is decreasing (IUCN 2008, Jnawali et al. 2011).
This species is generally found in large colonies of hundreds
to thousands of individuals although somemes solitary
bats or groups of a few individuals may roost near colonies
(Jnawali et al. 2011). It prefers to roost in tall canopy trees
Basant Sharma, Anoj Subedi, Kritagya Gyawali, Prashant Ghimire, Bhuwan Singh Bist, Sanjeev Baniya
Journal of Bat Research & Conservaon Volume 11 (1) 2018
with small trunk diameters of Bombax ceiba, Dalbergia
sissoo, Tectona grandis and Eucalyptus camaldulensis
near ponds and roadsides (Acharya et al. 2010, Gulraiz et
al. 2015). Populaons of P. giganteus have been greatly
reduced due to deforestaon, electrocuon, and hunng
(Ali 2010) as well as human development such as road
expansion, building construcon, and renovaon of temples
(Srinivasulu & Srinivasulu 2004, Molur et al. 2008, Gaikwad
et al. 2012).
The Pokhara valley is a major hotspot for bat species
richness in Nepal, hosng 17 of the 53 species of bats
recorded in the country (Giri 2009, Acharya et al. 2010,
Thapa 2010). The valley has supported one of Nepal’s
most important roosts of P. giganteus at Chinnedanda for
many decades, with up to 500 individuals present in 2011
(Bista 2011). This is the only known colony in the valley
and is one of 20 colonies exisng in the naon (Giri 2009,
Acharya 2015, Sharma 2016). However, this roost site has
become more threatened in recent years due to human
encroachment, habitat destrucon, and the cung of
preferred roost trees, Bombax ceiba by local residents to
prepare a land for construcon of houses (Adhikari 2009,
Bista 2011). Aer the harvest of half of the bats’ roost trees
from 2011 to 2016, most of the colony were found to roost
in Dendrocalamus strictus, a species of bamboo (Adhikari
2009, Bista 2011, Sharma 2016). Then in early 2016, half of
the colony moved to a new roost site at Shan Banbaka
4km from Chinnedanda (Sharma 2016). This is the rst
record of colony establishment in Shan Banbaka. In this
paper, we describe the recent size of this colony, the eect
of housing construcon near the roost at Chinnedanda and
invesgate the probable causes of the colony’s displacement
to a new locaon.
Study site
The Pokhara valley in western Nepal covers an area of
123 sq km and occurs within Kaski district. The valley has
a humid sub-tropical monsoonal climate with hot and wet
summers and cold and fairly dry winters. Average daily
temperatures range between 25° and 33°C in summer and
between -2°C and 15°C in winter (Kansakar et al. 2004), with
a mean annual precipitaon of <3000 mm (Khanal 1995).
Altude is approximately 849m a.s.l.
The two colony roosts described in this study are located
in Chinnedanda (28°10’53.4”N, 84°00’42.5”E) and Shan
Banbaka (28°12’44”N, 83°59’33”E) in the Pokhara valley
(Fig. 1). Chinnedanda is dominated by agricultural farms, but
is becoming increasingly urbanized with expanded human
selement and roads. Bombax ceiba, Dendrocalamus
strictus, Ficus religiosia and Morus alba comprise the
prominent vegetaon scaered near the roost. Shan
Banbaka occurs on a small secluded tract of land (~15ha)
belonging to the Instute of Forestry (IOF), Tribhuvan
University, and is surrounded by an urbanized area. The
trees Diploknema butyraceae, Osmanthus sauvis, Prunus
cerasoides, Dalbergia sisoo and Bombax ceiba form a grove
of forest covering part of this site.
From July 2016 to December 2017, we conducted
monthly roost surveys between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM on
every rst Saturday at both roost sites to count the numbers
of P. giganteus present. Following the direct roost count
Fig. 1- Map of the study area in the Pokhara Valley, Nepal. Source: Bajracharya (2013) Land cover of Nepal 2010: ICIMOD,
created using Arc GIS 10.3.1 by Milan Budha.
Can Pteropus giganteus (Brünnich, 1782) co-exist in a human dominated landscape? A case study in Pokhara valley, western Nepal
Journal of Bat Research & Conservaon Volume 11 (1) 2018
method of Kunz et al. (1996), we recorded the total numbers
of bats roosng on tree and bamboo branches with the aid
of tally counters and binoculars (Bushnell 8x42). Addionally,
numbers and species of trees and bamboo used by roosng
bats and numbers of new houses/buildings being built
within a 200-m radius of the centre of the colony were
counted each month at Chinnedanda. Distances between
these new houses/buildings to the edge of the colony were
also measured.
We reviewed published and unpublished literature (e.g.,
relevant arcles and theses) to obtain baseline informaon
about the characteriscs of the colony and changes to the
study area.
To assess the inuence of building construcon on the
colony at Chinnedanda Pearson correlaon coecients
were calculated between the numbers of buildings/houses
built each month and the resulng dierence in colony size.
The dierence in colony size was assessed as the dierence
between the colony size during the survey and the colony
size detected the ve following months. We assumed that
the eect would be most noceable during ve months
following the start of the building construcon, since this is
the me typically required to construct a house in Pokhara
valley. Linear regression was then ed and its R2 values
compared in all ve scenarios.
We also conducted interviews of local villagers living near
the roost at Chinnedanda in January 2017 using a structured
quesonnaire (Table S2). Fiy local villagers of ages 25 to
55 years old were randomly selected for the interviews,
including builders, workers, house owners, and women.
Interview topics focused on P. giganteus and the impacts of
housing construcon acvies on the bats.
At the beginning of our study (July 2016), we found
substanally smaller numbers of bats (129 individuals)
using the Chinnendanda roost compared to the colony size
reported in 2011, as well as a decrease in the number of
preferred roost trees at the site (Table S1, Fig. 2 & 3). During
the same survey, we recorded 34 bats at Shan Banbaka.
Bat numbers at Chinnedanda decreased to just 44 bats by
December 2016, coinciding with a rapid increase in housing
construcon (Table S1, Fig. 2). During 2017, this site was
either unoccupied or held ≤30 bats (Fig. 5). In contrast,
roost size at Shan Banbaka grew rapidly to 217 bats
from September to December 2016, gradually declined to
112 bats by July 2017, and increased substanally again
during September and October 2017, reaching a peak of
288 individuals (Table S1, Fig. 2 & 4). Colony size at the two
roosts combined averaged 220 bats during the study, with a
peak count of 290 bats in October 2016.
Fieen new houses were built near the roost at
Chinnedanda during the study period. These were
constructed an average of 59.5m from the edge of the roost,
including three built ≤10 m from the roost edge (the closest
was 2m) at the same me in October 2016 (Table S1).
Fig. 2 - Numbers of Pteropus giganteus at the Chinnedanda and
Shan Banbaka roosts during this study.
Fig. 3 – Pteropus giganteus roosng in Bombax ceiba at
Chinnedanda in July 2016. Credit: Basant Sharma
Fig. 4 – Using bamboo as scaolding (red circle) near the bat roost
at Chinnedanda in January 2017: Dendrocalamus strictus (black
arrow) and Bombax ceiba (white arrow) Credit: Basant Sharma
Basant Sharma, Anoj Subedi, Kritagya Gyawali, Prashant Ghimire, Bhuwan Singh Bist, Sanjeev Baniya
Linear regression lines between numbers of houses
built and the dierence in colony size detected in following
months always indicated negave correlaon suggesng
a detrimental eect due to construcon acvies (Fig. 6).
Values of R² varied substanally depending on the number
of months considered in the regression, with the minimum
(0.16) observed when only the rst month was chosen, and
the maximum (0.56) when the following four months were
included. R2 remained nearly equal whether three (0.39) or
ve (0.40) months were considered (Fig. 6).
Journal of Bat Research & Conservaon Volume 11 (1) 2018
Of the 50 respondents, 14% were classied as builders/
contractors, 32% as workers, 30% as house owners and
24% as housewives; 60% of the total were male. Ages of
respondents were 25-35 years old (50%), 35-45 years old
(30%) and 45-55 years old (20%). A total of 80% of the
respondents believed that colony size at Chinnedanda was
generally decreasing compared to previous years, whereas
8% thought it was stable, 2% believed it was increasing, and
10% were unaware of the colony. Regarding the cung of
roost vegetaon, 72% of the respondents believed it was
appropriate to cut down and use Dendrocalamus strictus as
scaolding for building construcon, whereas 12% thought
the vegetaon should be preserved and 16% had no opinion.
Forty-two percent of respondents had lived in Chinnedanda
for more than 10 years, 24% for 1 to 10 years, 14% for less
than 1 year and 20% were not residents (e.g., builders/
contractors and workers).
The combined numbers of P. giganteus roosng at Shan
Banbaka and Chinnedanda during our study ranged from
142 to 290 bats, represenng a decline of about 42 to 72
percent in the size of the full colony since 2011. Furthermore,
the roost at Chinnedanda, which had been occupied for
many years, was no longer in use by the end of our study
period. This roost suered from two main problems: (1) the
cung of preferred roosng trees (Bombax ceiba) by locals
(Adhikari 2009) and (2) the construcon of houses near the
colony, which further reduced the availability of preferred
roosng trees (Bista 2011). Due to lack of preferred roosng
trees the majority of populaon switched to roosng in
clumps of bamboos, which appeared to oer a sasfactory
alternave over B. ceiba (Bista 2011, Adhikari 2009).
However, much of those bamboos were then harvested and
used as scaolding during building construcon near the
roost. Thus, a decline in roosng vegetaon likely displaced
the colony from this site.
Fig. 5 – Pteropus giganteus roosng in Osmanthus sauvis (up) and
Bombax ceiba (down) at Shan banbaka in January, 2017 Credit:
Basant Sharma
Fig. 6 – Scaer plot represenng ng linear regression lines between the number of houses/building being built and the dierence in
colony size in following one to ve months in Chinnedanda.
Can Pteropus giganteus Brünnich, 1782 co-exist in a human dominated landscape? A case study in Pokhara valley, western Nepal
Journal of Bat Research & Conservaon Volume 11 (1) 2018
Construcon of houses and buildings up to three stories
high are usually completed within ve months in the Pohkara
valley. This includes one to two months for excavaon of
the ground and establishment of the foundaon, and two
to three months to complete the rest of the structure.
Construcon requires the use of scaolding made either of
long bamboo poles or metal steels to elevate the building
structure. Because of the easy accessibility, wide distribuon
and low cost of bamboo, it is one of the major scaolding
resources used in Pokhara valley (Sapkota 2010). Generally,
during the construcon of stories matured bamboos (from
the bat roost as well as non-roost clumps) were harvested
and used as scaolding. During our survey with residents,
we found that most people believed that locally harvested
bamboo was preferable over the use of exported bamboo
poles and metal steel, despite the fact that most of them
were aware of the bat populaon decrease.
Our ndings indicate that the eects of building
construcon on the bats roosng at Chinnedanda became
signicantly more evident aer four months of construcon
suggesng that the eects of those acvies take several
months to reach their maximum impact on the colony
size. Pokhara Internaonal Airport is under construcon in
Pokhara and is located 300m north from the roost. However,
personal observaons indicate that the construcon of
the airport nearby the bat roost and various types of
disturbances associated with housing construcon (close
human presence, noise, and dust) apparently did not aect
the bats.
During our study, Shan Banbaka became the colony’s
primary year-round roosng site, with numbers peaking at
217 bats in December 2016 and 288 bats in October 2017,
which are the highest annual counts ever recorded at this
locaon. Although Shan Banbaka previously funconed
as a foraging site for P. giganteus (Bista 2011), it was not
used as a diurnal roost unl early 2016 (Sharma 2016). The
colony’s switch to this locaon is likely related to its beer
availability of roosng vegetaon and possibly lower levels
of human disturbance than in Chinnedanda.
There has been increase in urbanizaon across the
Pokhara (Rimal 2011). The urban growth rate between
2010 and 2015 was of 5.21% (UNDESA 2014). The city has
experienced rapid changes during this me as most of the
agriculture lands were priorized for either residenal or
commercial purposes. The eect of this alteraon can be
seen in Chinnedanda, which was previously covered mostly
with agriculture lands, but it is currently crowded with
hundreds of buildings and roads with few open spaces and
limited agricultural areas remaining. These changes have had
a negave impact on the P. giganteus colony, and together
with the roosng vegetaon reducon, they have caused its
decline in size and shi to a new roost at Shan Banbaka.
During our study, building construcon acvies were
extremely high near the roost at Chinnedanda. Ten houses
were built during the rst six months of the study, including
three built less than ten meters from roost edge. Numbers
of roosng bats at the site fell dramacally (66%) during
this period, followed by the complete abandonment of the
roost or presence of small numbers of roosng bats during
the remainder of the study period. To our knowledge, this
roost has never been previously unoccupied. Observaons
at Chinnedanda before and during our study indicate that
colonies of P. giganteus at tradional roosng sites can
tolerate some limited human disturbance. However, as
we noted, excessive destrucon of roosng vegetaon
can eventually result in roost deseron. Although the
extent to which P. giganteus is resilient to anthropogenic
stresses remains unexplored, we believe that the roost
at Chinnedanda could be permanently abandoned in the
future if a lack of sucient roosng vegetaon connues.
The combined populaon of P. giganteus in Chinnedanda
and Shan Banbaka increased from September to December
in both study years, suggesng that the resident ying fox
populaon in the Pokhara valley may be supplemented
by migratory individuals. Other studies have shown that
colony size of P. giganteus usually does not remain constant
throughout the year (e.g., Bates & Harrison 1997). Acharya
(2008) recorded seasonal variaon in colony size in Nepal’s
Kathmandu valley and, similar to our study, noted increasing
numbers during autumn (aer the monsoon). Some ying
fox species are known to travel relavely long distances in a
few days (Fleming & Eby 2003). Long-distance movements,
including annual migraon, provide access to widely spaced
and temporally variable food resources, as well as the
opportunity to use dierent areas for roosng and feeding
(Roberts et al. 2012). During autumn in Nepal, areas of
lower elevaon (e.g., the country’s Terai region) may oer
limited food resources for P. giganteus, which may compel
the bats to move to higher nearby elevaons or to more
distant regions such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Seasonal movement paerns have not yet been examined
for P. giganteus and deserve further study.
The year-round presence of P. giganteus at Shan
Banbaka during our study and the small distance (4km)
between this site and Chinnedanda indicate that the
occupaon of Shan Banbaka is not related to seasonal
factors such as food availability and maternity care. Shan
Banbaka now appears to be the primary diurnal roost
for P. giganteus in the Pokhara valley, with peak numbers
at mes reaching nearly 300 bats comprised of both year-
round residents and migratory individuals. It is important
that the grove of trees at this site be preserved and human
disturbance minimized to maintain the site as a suitable
roost for P. giganteus. We also recommend connued
monitoring of the colony and documentaon of current
habitat condions at the site so that any future changes in
forest structure can be more easily recognized.
Populaons of P. giganteus and their habitat are
increasingly threatened (Jnawali et al. 2011), not only in the
Pokhara valley but across much of the species’ distribuon
(Acharya et al. 2010). Hunng and habitat modicaon are
two of the major ying fox-human conicts in Nepal. Hunng
P. giganteus for meat in Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari districts
(eastern Nepal), Rautahat and Bhaktapur districts (central
Nepal), and Rupandehi, Dang and Kanchanpur districts
(western Nepal), and widespread habitat modicaon in
the country currently exert high pressure on this species
(Acharya 2015). The government of Nepal lists P. giganteus
as Least Concern, but if intensive hunng and rapid habitat
Basant Sharma, Anoj Subedi, Kritagya Gyawali, Prashant Ghimire, Bhuwan Singh Bist, Sanjeev Baniya
Journal of Bat Research & Conservaon Volume 11 (1) 2018
modicaon connue at present rates, the species will
likely need to be uplisted to a higher threatened category
in the future. Appropriate guidelines and public awareness
must be formulated to minimize hunng pressure, whereas
proper management strategies must be launched to lower
anthropogenic pressures on habitat. Further educaonal
and communicaon eort is sll essenal to achieve good
conservaon pracces, especially considering the results of
our interviews in which, although most of the respondents
were aware of the bat populaon decline, only 12% were
in favor of preserving the nave vegetaon. This case study
not only illustrates the problems facing P. giganteus in the
Pokhara valley, but also shows that increasing anthropogenic
pressure can negavely impact the habitat and behavior of
other wild species in Nepal.
We express our hearelt gratude and appreciaon to
Adrià López-Baucells for his consistent encouragement,
valuable suggestions and guidelines for publicaon of
this paper. We also thank Gary Wiles and two anonymous
reviewers for their comments, which greatly improved
the manuscript. We are grateful to Dr. Pushpa Raj
Acharya, research ocer of Nepal Academics of Science
and Technology (NAST) and Chairperson of Nepal Bat
Research and Conservaon Union (NeBRCU) for his ongoing
encouragement and professional guidance in eld research.
We express our sincere thanks to key members of “Bat friend
Pokhara” for their technical and material support during
eld visits; Milan Budha for creang the map of study area;
and Bandana Subedi, Sudha Ghimire, Shristee Panthi, Sunita
Kunwar, Barsha Tripathi, Ambika Regmi, Anisha Neupane,
Kamana Pathak and the Shirish guys for their assistance in
the eld.
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Basant Sharma, Anoj Subedi, Kritagya Gyawali, Prashant Ghimire, Bhuwan Singh Bist, Sanjeev Baniya
... Population of Pteropus goganteus is declining both at global and national scale. This is predominately due to habitat loss and degradation, loss of large trees, reduction in food availability, introduction of power lines, hunting, etc. (Jnawali et al. 2011, Acharya 2015, Manandhar et al. 2017, Sharma et al. 2018. The present study was conducted to reveal major threats to survival of bats in this area and also alarms for decline of fruit bat population (Pteropus giganteus) by electrocution. ...
... These large trees are important roosting habitats for the Indian flying fox. As such tree felling is likely a main driver for the declining number of roosting bats observed in some colonies, reflecting reports made by Sharma et al. 2018. Bats faced loss of roosting habitat, feeding habitat, clean water in the study area. ...
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Bats are unique among mammals as they are the only group that has evolved true powered flight, like aves. India has a rich diversity of bat fauna comprising approximately 119 species of bats, out of which 14 species are megachiropteran bats belonging to 8 genera and one family (Pteropodidae) and the remaining are microchiropteran bats. In Uttar Pradesh, a total of 14 species of bats are recorded. Out of which, three species belong to the family Pteropodidae and remaining 11 species belong to five insectivorous families such as Vespertilionidae, Hippo-sideridae, Emballonuridae, Megadermatidae and Rhinopomatidae. Previous literatures revealed that population of bats are declining day by day due various anthropogenic factors such as habitat destruction, human influences, hunting and electrocution etc. The present study also revealed major threats to survival of bat species in district Lakhimpur-Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, India. The electrocution was observed one of the major threats to P. giganteus in study area. The present study also made some recommendations to protect and conserve bat population.
... species/18725/8511108), its population is declining both at global and national scale. This is predominately due to habitat loss and degradation, loss of large trees, reduction in food availability, introduction of power lines, hunting, etc. (Molur et al. 2008, Jnawali et al. 2011, Acharya 2015, Manandhar et al. 2017, Sharma et al. 2018. ...
... These large trees are important roosting habitats for the Indian flying fox. As such tree felling is likely a main driver for the declining number of roosting bats observed in some colonies, reflecting reports made elsewhere in Nepal (Pokhara city; Sharma et al. 2018). ...
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The population of the largest fruit bat Indian flying fox is declining throughout its range. We identified tree felling and hunting as current threats to 11 newly recorded colonies across eight districts of lowland Nepal and that six previously known roosts have collapsed. Importantly, we identified that local people were unaware of the ecological benefits and importance of the Indian flying fox. We propose a number of immediate conservation actions required to protect the remnant populations of the species in human-dominated landscapes across Nepal.
... Topal, 1997, Lyroderma lyra Geoffroy, 1810, Rousettus leschenaultii Desmarest, 1820 and Eonycteris spelaea Dobson, 1871 (Sharma et al. 2018a), however the country still lacks a complete checklist of caves and their relative bat species composition. Although a few conservation attempts have been made for the tree roosting bat, Pteropus giganteus Brunnich, 1782 (Acharya 2015, Neupane et al. 2016, Manandhar et al. 2018, Sharma et al. 2018b, Katuwal et al. 2019, only a handful of information is available on cave bat species and they are omitted from conservation efforts. ...
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By virtue of geology, Nepal harbours hundreds of caves and provides potential habitat for a large variety of bats. However, limited studies have focused on cave dwelling bat species in Nepal. Our study along the Kaligandaki canyon-the deepest gorge in the world-aimed to explore it's caves, examine cave inhabiting bat species, and to identify any major prevailing threats to the cave fauna. Roost count surveys, evening emergence counts, harp trap and mist nets were used to assess bats using caves. Out of 20 caves, bat populations were recorded in 13, with guano evident in two additional caves. This included records of a total of 12 species across all studied caves. Cave tourism was observed to be a major threat to bats and the cave environment. Therefore, we recommend the regulation of cave tourism and a halt to tourism-related development in and around these caves.
... Nepal comprises over 40% of South Asian and approximately 5% of global bat species richness. Previous studies have been focused on first bat species records and monitoring (Thapa & Thapa 2010, Thapa 2012, Thapa et al. 2014, descriptive studies such as diet (Sharma 2016), diurnal behavior (Manandhar et al. 2017) and human disturbance to Pteropid colonies (Sharma et al. 2018). All the above listed studies were carried out mainly on the Indian Flying fox (Pteropus giganteus). ...
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The study of bats is generally sparse and underdeveloped in Nepal. However, recently, there has been more interest in the bat reserach, but despite the increase of publications, it is still in its' preliminary phase. Proper species inventory and thorough research on the distribution of bats is still lacking. Previously, the Great Woolly Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus luctus) was recorded from only five different locations in Nepal. Here, we report the range extension of the species to the Western landscape in Nepal. Two independent studies have identified its presence in four new locations: Chamere Gupha (The Bat cave), Banpale forest within the Kaski District, Parbati cave, and the Pipale odaar within Parbat District. Hereby, we provide a new distribution map for R. luctus and recommend further research on the ecology of bats in the Mid-western and Far-western regions of Nepal in order to fill current knowledge gaps. Research on bat ecology through Nepalese researchers began after 2000. Before, the sporadic information was mainly compiled for taxonomic collection by foreign
The brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus is classified globally as a species of ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species, and as ‘data deficient’ in the National classification for Nepal. The present paper reports the first record of its occurrence in Jumla, Karnali and the third for the country, Nepal. One live male adult individual and a few faeces were observed on September 8, 2017 at 12:44PM in Jumla. We include a brief discussion of its morphological features and measurements and the habitat in which it was recorded. The paper provides discussion on the previous two records from the country, emphasizing the need for more intensive research over a prolonged period of time to improve understanding of the species’ distribution, habitat and ecology in the region.
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Bat comes among the least studied and highly misunderstood animal, regarded as evil spirit or omen in Mesoamerican, Oaxcan and East Nigerean mythology, unlike depicted as Fu-Shing (symbology of god of happiness) in Chinese Culture. Several of the bat species are enlisted in various category of CITES and IUCN Red Data Book, unlike in Nepal Wildlife legislation where its status is unclear. The research entitled ―Habitat Suitability Mapping and Species Identification of Chiroptera- A case study from Kaski District‖ was carried out to prepare the Habitat Map and identify the species occurrence in the study area with focus on threats assessment. Predicting species occurrence using a modeling approach based on a geographic information system (GIS) represents a new methodological tool which can be used to endorse conservation policies. Data were collected from miscellany of sources (small samples, non-regular and nonspatially stratified sample designs, samples collected according to an irregular time scale), thus deductive approach for mapping by overlaying of the various criteria viz. Roost, Water, Land use & Road was done. This research prepares a habitat suitability map & Roost site distribution map of Chiroptera in the study area; identifies 7 species of bat (4 species new for Kaski and 1 species new for Nepal) accounting a total of 17 species in the study area. Habitat destruction (caves and forest) is the major factor threatening the bat fauna. Hypothesis testing for independence between the benefit realization and perception resulted in satisfying the null hypothesis. This research concludes that Kaski is a suitable habitat for bat. Most people realize that bat provides benefit and are ecologically valuable, but there still exists misconception about this poor creature & recommends that this animal be kept within the priority of wildlife legislation.
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Humanised landscapes are causing population declines and even extinctions of wildlife, whereas a limited number of species are adapting to the new niches and resources within these modified habitats. Synanthropy is widespread among many vertebrates and often causes co-habitation conflicts between humans and wildlife species. Bats often roost in anthropogenic structures, and especially in the tropics, mitigation of human-bat conflicts arising from co-habitation is hampered by a paucity of research focusing on roost preferences. We assessed roost selection by bats in villages around Ranomafana National Park, eastern Madagascar. Ten villages were surveyed, with bats occupying 21 of the 180 evaluated buildings. Of those, 17 were public buildings harbouring large molossid colonies. Although beneficial ecosystem services provided by bats are well-known, several cases of colony eviction were noted, mostly due to unwanted co-habitation. Bat preference was driven by the type of building, its height and a lack of fire use by the inhabitants. Colonies were mainly found under metal sheets within large empty chambers, whereas only isolated bats were detected in the roofs of traditional cabins. Temperatures up to 50º C were recorded inside a roost, representing one of the highest temperatures recorded for an African maternity roost. Molossidae bats appear to have found a suitable alternative to their native roosts in hollow, old and tall trees in pristine forests, which are becoming rare in Madagascar. This suggests that human-bat interactions in Madagascar will likely increase alongside rural development and the loss of primary forest habitats. Shifting to modern construction methods while combining traditional techniques with proper roof sealing could prevent the establishment of bat colonies in undesired locations, whereas co-habitation conflicts could alternatively be minimised by reducing direct interaction with humans. In light of our results, we urge caution with bat evictions, and greater attention when introducing modern building practices, often supported by foreign initiatives, to poor rural communities in developing countries.
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Eight species of bats were identified from Palpa and Kaski districts for the first time, during the fieldwork conducted from January to October 2009. Altogether individuals were captured and released and 11 wet specimens were prepared and preserved. This research provides information on species richness, their distribution and threats on bats that exist in their natural habitat. External and craniodental measurements of the specimen and range of measurement of captured individuals are given in Tables.
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Roost characteristics of Indian flying fox Pteropus giganteusat the Jinnah (n = 1052) and Lalazar (n = 40) gardens in Lahore were observed for a period of 1 year to find roost preferences in these bats. The Jinnah garden harbors 4119 trees belonging to 46 families, 103 genera, and 132 species, of which 44 trees belonging to 17 families, 19 genera, and 21 species served as bat roosts. The Lalazar garden harbors 90 trees representing 7 families, 9 genera, and 9 species. Six of these belonging to 2 families, 2 genera, and 2 species each served as bat roosts. Height of the roosting trees varied from 7.5 m (Dendrocalamus hamiltonii) to 19.8 m (Celtis australis) and diameter at breast height (dbh) ranged from 0.10 m (Putranjiva roxburghii) to 0.89 m (Kigelia pinnata). Maximum average bats (n = 88) were roosting in P. roxburghiiwith total height of 13.4 m and dbh of 0.1 m, whereas minimum bats (n = 8) were observed on Manilkara hexandra having height of 14.4 m and dbh of 0.24 m. It can be concluded from the present study that P. giganteus prefers to roost near water bodies on tall trees with relatively smaller diameters.
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In this article we review the current knowledge of the effects of urban expansion on bats and assess the potential of these mammals as bioindicators of urbanization. The response of bats to this process is highly species-specific: some species tolerate urban habitat or are even favoured by its roosting or foraging opportunities, others are affected by the loss or fragmentation of key natural habitat, or by the physical or chemical pollution associated with urbanization. Species responses generally translate into altered community structures, with few markedly dominating species. We propose different hypothetical models of bat fitness along an urbanization gradient and discuss why population density may not be an effective fitness proxy to assess the reactions of bats to urban expansion. We also propose that urban habitat may act as an ecological trap even for apparently synurbic species. Overall, bat sensitivity to urbanization makes these mammals promising candidates to track the effects of this process of land use change on the biota, but more studies, specifically tailored to explore this role, are needed.
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Urbanisation of wildlife populations is a process with significant conservation and management implications. While urban areas can provide habitat for wildlife, some urbanised species eventually come into conflict with humans. Understanding the process and drivers of wildlife urbanisation is fundamental to developing effective management responses to this phenomenon. In Australia, flying-foxes (Pteropodidae) are a common feature of urban environments, sometimes roosting in groups of tens of thousands of individuals. Flying-foxes appear to be becoming increasingly urbanised and are coming into increased contact and conflict with humans. Flying-fox management is now a highly contentious issue. In this study we used monitoring data collected over a 15 year period (1998-2012) to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of association of spectacled flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) roost sites (camps) with urban areas. We asked whether spectacled flying-foxes are becoming more urbanised and test the hypothesis that such changes are associated with anthropogenic changes to landscape structure. Our results indicate that spectacled flying-foxes were more likely to roost near humans than might be expected by chance, that over the period of the study the proportion of the flying-foxes in urban-associated camps increased, as did the number of urban camps. Increased urbanisation of spectacled flying-foxes was not related to changes in landscape structure or to the encroachment of urban areas on camps. Overall, camps tended to be found in areas that were more fragmented, closer to human habitation and with more urban land cover than the surrounding landscape. This suggests that urbanisation is a behavioural response rather than driven by habitat loss.
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The Kacharighat roosting site is located at the vicinity of the northern bank of the River Brahmaputra of Dhubri town in Assam. Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus) is a highly economical and ecological fruit bat species since P. giganteus is considered as an essential seed dispersal and pollinating agent for reforestation of our forest ecosystems. To elucidate the population size of the colony Bats (P. giganteus) were counted in the month of January at the early morning hours after sunrise by "Direct roost count" method. The population of the site was counted at 547 in the month of January 2001. However recent census carried out in the month of January 2010 indicated that the number has been drastically reduced to 287 with a loss of 47.53 % on the site. Roosting tree species of the site were Caesalpinia inermis, Ficus bengalensis (Bot), Ficus religiosa (Ahat), Ficus glomerata (Jagya Dimaru), Eugenia jambolana (Jamun), Alstonia scholaris (Sationa), Eucalyptus globossus (Eucalyptus), Polyalthiya longifolia (Devadaru), Mangifera indica (Mango) and Artocarpus heterophyllus (Kothal). But the major roosting tree species used by the P. giganteus individuals were C. inermis, F. bengalensis, F. religiosa and E. jambolana. Deforestations, electrocution and hunting were found to be the main cause of population decline from the site in the recent years.
In present survey carried out in the South-West region of Maharashtra, India, 11 bat species were reported from the study area. The area comprised four districts of Maharashtra namely Pune, Satara, Solapur and Osmanabad. It was also found that all the bat species mentioned in this paper are much more widely distributed than was previously recorded and populations occur in areas for which only single or scattered records were previously available. Conversion of habitats of bats for various purposes by humans was found as one of the important threats to bats in region.
Urban development has enlarged the modification of natural resources and has changed land use and land cover patterns. Urbanization is a process of increase of modernization system which modifies the socioeconomic activities and revolutionizes the land use practice according to time frame. Due to the proximate and underlying causes, land use and land cover change has become the main challenge of the present world. Due to the huge course of urbanization, the major cities of the world are compelled to face the severe threats. Various causes of the urbanization process bring the unrestrained impact on land use and land cover change. An unplanned urbanization process is becoming the major problem in the developed and developing countries. Population growth, migration, political instability, economic opportunities, centralized plans and policies of the government, accessibility of physical infrastructure, globalization are some of the major causes of the high level of urbanization in Nepal. This paper presents the historical urban growth phenomenon and analysis of land use and land cover change of Pokhara sub-metropolitan by utilizing remote sensing imagery and GIS. In the study, Markov chain model has been used to predict future changes based on the rate of past change in IDRISI GIS. The landsat images of 1977 MSS, 1990 TM, 1999 ETM+ and 2010 TM are rectified and registered in Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) zone 44N. Supervised classification system has been used to classify the images of different land use categories. Six land use classes have been identified: Urban (Built-up), water body, open field, forest cover, cultivated land and sandy area. Urban land use change for the year 2021 was modeled using a Markov chain based approach. For the projection of 2021, transitional probability matrix table from the land use land cover map of 1999 and simulated map of 2010 is derived. Projected land cover changes show a growing tendency in urban land use, which might threaten the areas that are currently reserved for forest and agricultural lands. Keywords:Urban growth, Land use/Land cover, Infrastructure, Satellite imagery, Markov Chain Model GIS