Bats: India

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In Karnataka

The Times of India, Aug 24 2015 

Karnataka, home to 39 species of bats (one-third of what's found in India), is losing out on these mammals, owing to habitat destruction.


Bats roost in trees, tree holes, caves, rock crevices, old temples and ruins. They are missing their natural habitat due to rampant axing of trees, limestone mining and granite quarrying. They are hunted across India primarily for their perceived medicinal properties

Places where they are found

Barapede Caves : Free-tailed bats are found only in the Barapede Caves, located between Krishnapur and Talewadi. It's listed as a critically endangered species due to habitat loss and a restricted range.

Bavuli Guhe : The cave in north Karnataka is home to thousands of bats. In fact the name itself means bat cave (Bavuli means bat). It hasn't received much attention because it is difficult to reach and trek to the cave.Nellitheertha Cave: The Nellitheertha Somanatheshwara Cave temple is one of the sacred places in Dakshina Kannada district. The cave is home to a huge number of bats.

Some associated myths

Bats are not blind as they are believed to be; fruitbats have large eyes z They don't attack humans, they in fact avoid humans as they see them as a threat.z Don't drink human blood but feed on fruits, insects and nectar (Only three species drink animal blood: vampire bats found only in South America and parts of Mexico

Why is there a need to save them?

They play an important role in the ecosystem.Bats pollinate flowers.Many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for distribution of their seeds.They consume pests, reducing the need for pesticides. Source: batconservationindia.org, indiatravelogue.com; bangaloretourism.org, discoverkarnatakatour.com, karnatakaholidays.com

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