Tuesday 21 May
Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat (Coelops robinsoni)
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Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat fact file
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Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat description
This extraordinary-looking bat is small and delicate, with relatively large, rounded and ridge-free ears and a complex noseleaf, which together nearly mask the rest of the head. The noseleaf is formed mainly from two lobes, which are surrounded by several other projections and notches (3). The Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat has short, broad wings with rounded tips and a large area of membrane above the forearm (known as the propatagium). This wing shape enables a large degree of manoeuvrability in flight, but limits the cruising speed of the bat. The long, soft fur ranges in colour from grey to dark brown, and is lightest on the underside (2) (4).Top
Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat biology
Extremely little is known about this rarely-seen species. Pregnant females have been found in March and they are known to share their roosts with other species, including Ridley’s leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros ridleyi). Catching this species for scientific work is difficult, but it is not clear whether this is due to low numbers, or to the bat’s high level of agility in flight, making it possible to avoid traps at the last moment, where the momentum of other bats causes them to become entangled (2) (4).
The Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat gives birth to a single pup each year, which it feeds milk and carries on foraging flights until the pup is 1-2 months old, when it is weaned and starts to forage alone (4).Top
Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat rangeTop
Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat habitatTop
Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat status
Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat threats
The rapid increase in land devoted to growing oil palm has resulted in extensive loss of primary forest. Together, Malaysia and Indonesia export 88% of the world’s palm oil, for use in products such as margarine, lipstick and detergent. Deforestation continues at a steady rate for conversion to agricultural land and building communities, and despite the contribution of many bats in the control of insect crop pests, persecution of bats is also a threat (5).Top
Malayan tailless leaf-nosed bat conservation
Deforestation of primary forest for oil palm plantations, including within protected areas, is an issue of major concern and one that relies on both governmental action and consumer concern. Some large retailers have agreed, in collaboration with the WWF, to source products containing palm oil from plantations that are not on deforested land (5). Many scientific and charitable groups contribute to bat monitoring and local education programmes that can help to reduce persecution and raise awareness of the natural assets of the land (4).Top
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- Primary forest
- Forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
- IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
- Kingston, T. (2005) Pers. comm.
- Yasuma, S., Andau, M., Apin, L., Yu, F. and Kimsu, L. (2003) Identification keys to the mammals of Borneo. Park Management Component, Sabah.
- Maltby, A. (2005) Pers. comm.
- Europa World (January, 2005)
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