Mammals

Bats of the World by Gary L. Graham Ph.D., Fiona A. Reid

By Gary L. Graham Ph.D., Fiona A. Reid

Bats are one of the most intriguing-and ecologically important-animals in the world. during this handsomely illustrated consultant, you are going to study about:

- The average historical past and evolution of bats
- very important picking features
- Habitats, migration styles, and customary mating practices
- The prestige of assorted endangered bat species

Perfect for either skilled and amateur bat watchers, Bats of the area is a useful source for figuring out the importance of bats in our world.

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Extra resources for Bats of the World

Example text

All species eat plant parts, especially fruit and nectar, and most produce only one pup per year. 53 FLYING FOXES These bats, which belong to the genus Pterop us, include the largest bats in the world. They are found on Ma dagascar an d some islands in the In dian Ocean, in India and Southeast Asia, through Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, northern Australia, and eastward to the Coo k Is lands. The impressive Gigantic Flying Fox has a wingspan of about 6 feet and weighs over 2 pounds.

Many bat populations in the Pacific have declined since 1970 as a result of commercial hunting. Bats are eaten by the native people of the Marianas Islands. Only about 500 of the endangered Mariana s Flying Fox remain on the Pacific island of Guam, and the Lesser Marianas Flying Fox is already extinct. Since 30 to 40 percent of rainforest trees on the islands are pollinated by bats or their seeds are dispersed by bats, the loss of bat populations can have serious ecological and economic consequences.

Many species may disappear before their decline is even recognized. Action by me mbers of organ izations that promote the protection of bats is a vital part of any conservation effort. This is particularly true with bats because of the fact that so many people still harbor misconceptions about them . Individuals can directly influence bat conserv ation effor ts by beco m ing active members of these organizations (see p. 150), which cannot survive without an inAux of new members. Education is the most effective way to overco me personal biases .

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