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A perspective on bats (Chiroptera)

M. Brock Fenton
Koedoe | Vol 55, No 1 | a1140 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v55i1.1140 | © 2013 M. Brock Fenton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 February 2013 | Published: 19 March 2013


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Abstract

With over 130 species, bats are the most diverse group of mammals almost everywhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2000, two books (Monadjem et al. 2010; Taylor 2000) have made it much easier to appreciate this reality. Species previously unrecognised are frequent discoveries (e.g. Taylor et al. 2012). Whilst most species are mainly insectivorous, some rely more directly on plants, taking fruit and visiting flowers to obtain nectar and pollen. The combination of mobility, long lifespan and diversity of trophic roles makes bats potentially valuable as indicators of ecosystem health (Cumming & Spiesman 2006). Lack of detailed information, however, makes it easy to overlook bats when focusing on issues of conservation.

Keywords

bat detectors; disease; diversity; DNA barcode; echolocation

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