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Reproductive ecology of wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bats Chaerephon plicatus (Buchannan, 1800) in Rrelation to Guano Production in Cambodia

Furey N.M., Racey P.A., Ith S., Touch V., Cappelle J.. 2018. Diversity, 10 (3) : 12 p..

Wildlife populations in Southeast Asia are subject to increasing pressure from climate change, habitat loss and human disturbance. Cave-roosting bats are particularly vulnerable to all three factors. Because of the ecological services they provide, it is important to assess specific vulnerabilities to inform their conservation management. We evaluated the reproductive phenology and body condition of Chaerephon plicatus for 14 months in 2015¿2016 and quantified guano harvesting at the largest colony in Cambodia in 2011¿2016. As in Thailand and Myanmar, two annual breeding cycles were recorded, characterized as continuous bimodal polyoestry, with parturition primarily occurring in April and October. Significant declines occurred in body condition between the late wet season and the late dry season, suggesting that bats experience increasing energetic stress as the dry season progresses. Annual guano harvests increased over the study period but could not be used as a proxy for monitoring population size due to the loss of unknown amounts during the wet season and unquantified movements of bats between C. plicatus colonies in the region. We recommend studies to determine the scale and drivers of such movements and creation of sustainable guano harvesting and population monitoring initiatives to ensure the conservation of C. plicatus colonies in Cambodia.

Mots-clés : cambodge

Thématique : Ecologie animale; Fertilisation

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