Piyathip Piyapan our Thai EDGE Fellow currently studying the roost selection of Bumblebee bats (otherwise known as Kitti’s hog-nosed bat) sent the EDGE Team the following information on the best non invasive way to view the species. Here is what she sent:
A number of tourists who visit Kanchanaburi Province, the only place where Kitti’s hog-nosed bat has been found in Thailand, usually want to see this bat species. It is not safe and inadvisable to catch the bat for closed up looking because a tourist might be bitten and get some infections while the bats are disturbed and may suffer or die. It is better to stay not too close to the bats and identify them using some unique characteristics whether they are Kitti’s hog-nosed bat.
The first conspicuous characteristic of Kitti’s hog-nosed bat is its size. Although it is arguably a smallest bat of the world, it is difficult to describe how big it is. One possible way is describing its size by refer to the name, Bumblebee bat, since both creatures are equal in size. The next noticeable characteristic of Kitti’s hog-nosed bat is the shape of its nosed, which looks like that of hog and referred in its name “hog-nosed” bat.
The easiest way for tourists to watch Kitti’s hog-nosed bat without disturbing them is to visit known and famous roost caves of the bat in the national park. Waiting at the cave entrance to watch when it emerges at dusk to forage around the cave, its flying pattern looks like that of a butterfly. Watching foraging bats provides better feeling of their real life and freedom in nature, also the best way to avoid disturbing the bat.
I hope that an appreciation of watching Kitti’s hog-nosed bat in the peaceful way without catching and disturbing to their life can satisfy the tourists. And, if possible, I will find the way to give more information about the bat to them for better understanding of its importance and conservation status in future.
Note from researcher:
This is the first time for me to communicate with everyone in the community of EDGE BLOG. I am very glad to introduce you more information that implied in the name of Kitti’s hog-nosed bat or Bumblebee bat and also present my concern with tourist activity to seeing this bat species. Hope you enjoy with this little piece of writing.