Tuesday 18 June
East African little collared fruit bat (Myonycteris relicta)
East African little collared fruit bat fact file
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East African little collared fruit bat description
A little-known fruit bat, the East African little collared fruit bat (Myonycteris relicta) was only described as recently as 1980 (2). Named after the ‘collar’ of coarse hair around the neck of the male, the East African little collared fruit bat has light reddish-brown fur on the body, which is slightly lighter on the underparts. The large wings are dark brown (2).
The East African little collared fruit bat has relatively large, pointed ears (2) but, like most fruits bats, these are unlikely to be used for echolocation. Instead, this bat relies on smell and its large, well-developed eyes to find food (3).
- Also known as
- Bergmans's collared fruit bat. Top
Wildlife Conservation Society:
African Conservation Foundation:
- Detecting objects by reflected sound. Used by bats and odontocete cetaceans (toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises) for orientation and to detect and locate prey.
IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
- Bergmans, W.M. (1980) A new fruit bat of the genus Myonycteris Matschie, 1899, from eastern Kenya and Tanzania (Mammalia, Megachiroptera). Zoologische Mededelingen, 55(14): 171-181.
- Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Skinner, J.D. and Chimimba, C.T. (2005) The Mammals of Southern Africa.Third Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Rodriguez, R.M., Hoffmann, F., Porter, C.A. and Baker, R. (2006) The bat community of the Rabi oil field in the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas. Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington, 12: 365-370.
- Demspey, J.L. and Crissey, S.D. (1995) Nutrition. In: Fascione, N. (Ed.) Fruit Bat Husbandry Manual. AZA Bat Taxon Advisory Group, The Lubee Foundation Inc, Gainesville, Florida.
WWF (November, 2010)
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East African little collared fruit bat biology
Virtually nothing is known of the biology or behaviour of the East African little collared fruit bat, except that individuals are usually captured singularly (5), which suggests it is a solitary species (2).
The diet of the East African little collared fruit bat is also unknown, but it has been found in areas containing fig trees (2) and fruit bats in captivity are capable of eating a variety of soft fruits (6). Unlike many bats, it apparently does not roost in caves (4).Top
East African little collared fruit bat range
The East African little collared fruit bat has been found in the Shimba Hills in southeast Kenya, the Usambara and Nguru Mountains in Tanzania, and in eastern Zimbabwe (1).Top
East African little collared fruit bat habitat
It is believed that a mosaic of open country and forest patches are the preferred habitat of the East African little collared fruit bat (4). The first described East African little collared fruit bat was caught in an area of big thorn trees and fig trees near a river (1) (2). It has not been caught in the East African savannas despite considerable fruit bat collecting activities in this region (2).Top
East African little collared fruit bat status
The East African little collared fruit bat is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
East African little collared fruit bat threats
Although little is known about the East African little collared fruit bat, it is likely to be affected by the ongoing loss of its habitat, as a result of logging, harvesting of firewood and the conversion of forest to farmland (1).Top
East African little collared fruit bat conservation
There are no direct conservation measures in place for the East African little collared fruit bat. It has been found in the Haroni and Rusitu protected areas in Zimbabwe, although as deforestation has still been taking place in these areas, their protected status seems to mean little in practice (1).
The conservation of lowland forest throughout much of East Africa is essential for the future of this bat and many other species (1). Fortunately, there are a number of conservation organisations working to conserve the forest habitat in the region, including WWF Tanzania (7).Top
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Find out about conservation in East Africa:
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