EDGE Community

Project information

[Project name/title]
Conservation of the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis

[Project description/overview]


Project type:

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

Project members:
Justin Gerlach

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

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

[Relevance description]
The aim of this conservation programme is to ensure the survival of the species by providing a secure future for the most significant surviving population. This will be achieved by protecting roosts and restoring habitat around roosts (both active and abandoned) and feeding areas through selective removing alien plants.
Project summary
The Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis has declined over the past 100 years. Until recently the cause of decline was a mystery but research by Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles has identified the threats faced by this species and is now starting to try and improve its future prospects. Invasive plants have changed the character of lowland boulder fields in which the bats roost and feed. The bats are also vulnerable to disturbance from introduced rats and cats; with few suitable roosting caves left this disturbance is a major problem. Finally many of the feeding grounds were cleared for development and agriculture in the past, leading to historical declines. NPTS carries out research and conservation action for this species. Known roosts are monitored with an infra-red CCTV camera installed in the largest known roost, allowing the bats to be counted and studied without risking disturbance. Areas of suitable habitat are searched for new roosts. Habitat restoration work concentrates around the abandoned roosts, aiming to make these roosts suitable for reoccupation so that populations can expand again. This should enable us to halt the species decline, but bringing them back to above 50 individuals will be slow work.
Start date: 1997
Duration: Ongoing
Project members
Dr Justin Gerlach : Scientific co-ordinator

Justin is the Scientific Co-ordinator of Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles

[Member role description]
[Title:] Species
[Image caption]
Coleura seychellensis
[Title:] Activities
[Image caption]
Photograph from the CCTV of the roost site
[Title:] Project partner logo
[Image caption]
Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles
[Title:] Activities
[Image caption]
Example of one of the abandoned caves
[Title:] Activities
[Image caption]
Poueraria, invasive plants that have to be removed from the roosts