EDGE Community


Project information

[Project name/title]
Bats On The Brink-Aberdeen University Seychelles Expedition 2004


[Project description/overview]


Location:
Republic of Seychelles, Granitic Seychelles

Project type:
Conservation

Relevant EDGE species:
Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat (Coleura seychellensis)

Project members:
Laura Bambini




Relevant species
26. Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat (Coleura seychellensis) CR

Fewer than one hundred of these bats are thought to survive today.

[Relevance description]
Aims
The aim of the project was to assess the current distribution and status of the critically endangered Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis . Historical causes of decline were investigated, and potential current factors threatening the bats were assessed.
 
Project summary
Coleura seychellensis was found present on Mahe, but not on Praslin or La Digue, where populations have possibly gone extinct. Several foraging areas were identified in bat detector surveys on Mahe, all on the western side of the island, but bats were only ever encountered in small numbers (1-3 individuals). Two new roosts on Mahe were located and described, and an additional roost previously known to only one or two people was also described; all roosts are in boulder caves. The three roosts were monitored between July-September, and a total of 19 bats were counted emerging from them. It is likely that the population size is slightly larger. It was thought that a combination of factors, including disturbance at roost, pesticide use, and the loss of native plant species in the foraging habitat, had probably caused the historical decline. Current factors threatening the future survival of the species include the building of hotels in roosting and foraging areas, and disturbance at roosts, which appears to be ongoing. More stringent monitoring was recommended, as well as further studies on the ecology of the species, in order to enable informed conservation action to take place. Strict protection was also called for.
 
Timescales
Start date: June 2004
Duration: 3 months
Project members
Ms Laura Bambini MSc: Communications officer

Laura is a researcher who specialises in bat ecology and conservation

[Member role description]
Project partners
Nature Seychelles
Seychelles Ministry of Environment
 
Donors
Main donor: BP Conservation Programme
Aberdeen University Expedition Fund
Aberdeen University Small Grants Fund
British Ecological Society
Carnegie Trust for Universities of Scotland
Chester Zoo
Gilchrist Educational Trust
Gordon Foundation
Paco's Restaurant, Perth
 
[Title:] Species
[Image caption]
Seychelles sheath-tailed bat (Coleura seychellensis)