Burmese Whiskered Bat (Myotis montivagus)

Description

The greater mouse-eared bat is one of the larger  bats  Its fur is a medium-brown colour on the upper body, and greyish-white underneath. It has large ears with a very prominent tragus, the organ which is part of the bat’s echolocation system.

Greater mouse-eared bats are usually found around human settlements. They probably used caves as roosting sites, and today they hibernate in both caves and mines. They hunt in forests and adjoining cultivated areas

This bat preys on larger insects, mainly beetles, which they hunt for about four to five hours after emerging late in the evening. They are known to forage on the ground for some of their insect prey. Male greater mouse-eared bats are polygamous, and may have a harem of up to five females. The females form large maternity roosts  and give birth to one offspring, usually in June. When they leave to feed, females leave their babies in a crèche and there are often several females left to guard the roost. The young bats can fly after three weeks, and become sexually mature at three months.

Range Description:

This widespread species has been recorded from South Asia, Southern and Eastern China, and both mainland and insular Southeast Asia. In South Asia this species is presently known only from India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Tamil Nadu) (Vanitharani 2006, Molur et al. 2002). In China, it ranges through much of Southern and Eastern, parts of the country (Smith and Xie 2008). In mainland Southeast Asia, it has been recorded from Myanmar, Southern Thailand (although there are no published records (Bumrungsri et al., 2006)), Northern Vietnam, Lao PDR and Peninsular Malaysia (it has been recorded at the Batu caves close to Kuala Lumpur). It is also present on the island of Borneo, where it has been reported from Sabah (Kinabatangan area) (Malaysia) and Kalimantan (Indonesia). It has been recorded from sea level to an elevation of 1,100 m asl.: Within India, it has been recorded roosting in caves, rocky crevices and subterranean habitats in forested areas (Molur et al. 2002). In Lao PDR, the species has been collected in hill forests at 1,000 m asl and in open forest at 500 m asl (Francis et al. 1996; in Duckworth et al. 1999). In Vietnam, the species has been recorded in heavily disturbed agricultural landscapes, at about 200 m asl. Animals have been found roosting in small colonies in a crevice of a bridge (Yasuma and Andau, 2000). In southern Thailand the species roosts in small colonies in lowland evergreen forest (S. Bumringsri pers. comm. ). In Myanmar it is known from around 1,850 m asl (Bates et al. 2005). In Malaysia it has been recorded in highly disturbed secondary habitat
Countries: Native:
China; India; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Vietnam

Population:

It is believed to be an uncommon species. In South Asia, the population abundance of this species is not known. There are only a relatively few individuals in each colony and the colonies and localities are scattered (Molur et al. 2002).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology:

 Within India, it has been recorded roosting in caves, rocky crevices and subterranean habitats in forested areas (Molur et al. 2002). In Lao PDR, the species has been collected in hill forests at 1,000 m asl and in open forest at 500 m asl (Francis et al. 1996; in Duckworth et al. 1999). In Viet Nam, the species has been recorded in heavily disturbed agricultural landscapes, at about 200 m asl. Animals have been found roosting in small colonies in a crevice of a bridge (Yasuma and Andau, 2000). In Southern Thailand the species roosts in small colonies in lowland evergreen forest (S. Bumringsri pers. comm.). In Myanmar it is known from around 1,850 m asl (Bates et al. 2005). In Malaysia it has been recorded in highly disturbed secondary habitat.
Systems: Terrestrial

Major Threat(s):

 In South Asia, this species is threatened due to disturbance to roosting sites by increase in tourism and habitat loss due to tourism related developmental activities (Molur et al. 2002). The threats to the species over the rest of its range are not known, although it has been reported from degraded forest in parts of its range.

 Conservation Actions:

In South Asia, although there are no direct conservation measures in place, the species has been recorded from Agasthiyamalai Biosphere Reserve in Tamil Nadu (Vanitharani 2006). Surveys, ecological and population studies are recommended (Molur et al. 2002). In Southeast Asia, it has been recorded from some protected areas (eg. Vu Quang National Park, Vietnam [Borissenko and Kruskop 2003]).

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