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Another Seychelles endemic close to extinction: the emballonurid bat Coleura seychellensis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 September 2006

Laura Bambini
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
Andrew Blyth
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
Tim Bradford
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
Rachel Bristol
Affiliation:
Nature Seychelles, The Environment and Education Centre, Roche Caiman, PO Box 1310, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Sarah Burthe
Affiliation:
Population Ecology Research Group, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Chester High Road, CH64 7TE, UK
Louise Craig
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
Nick Downs
Affiliation:
Cresswell Associates (Environmental Consultants) Ltd, The Mill, Brimscombe Port, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 2QG, UK
Sinclair Laing
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
Lorraine Marshall-Ball
Affiliation:
School of Biology, University of St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TS, UK
Denise McGowan
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
Terence Vel
Affiliation:
Nature Seychelles, The Environment and Education Centre, Roche Caiman, PO Box 1310, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Paul Racey
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
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Abstract

The only microchiropteran endemic to the granitic Seychelles, the sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis, is categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Using bat detectors, the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue were surveyed to establish the current distribution of this species. Although two new roosts were discovered on Mahé, no bats were observed on Praslin and La Digue, and the range of C. seychellensis appears to have further contracted in the last 2 decades. A total of 19 C. seychellensis were counted emerging from or entering three roosts in boulder caves on Mahé during 18 evenings of observations. The bats foraged in open coastal habitat, some of it anthropogenic, and their echolocation calls were also characteristic of bats feeding in open habitat. This study provides no evidence that C. seychellensis is dependent on forest or wetland for foraging. Dietary analysis indicated that C. seychellensis feeds on Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera. A public education programme to highlight the conservation status of the bat and the consequences of roost disturbance is recommended, together with the urgent need for legal protection of the bats and their roosts.

Type
Articles
Copyright
2006 Fauna & Flora International

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Another Seychelles endemic close to extinction: the emballonurid bat Coleura seychellensis
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