Bat (Seba’s short-tailed bat) / Carollia perspicillata

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Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight. They belong to the order Chiroptera; which means hand-wing.

Seba’s bat’s are known as leaf-nosed bats because of their large, lance-shaped noses.

They play an important ecological role as pollinators and seed dispersers

A newborn Seba’s fruit bat weighs approximately five grams

Contrary to common belief, bats are not blind and in fact fruit bats have very good vision.

Seba’s short-tailed bats are small, gregarious and social leaf-nosed bats which are found through Central and S America as far as Paraguay and S. Brazil. They are normally found in forested areas where they spend the days roosting in caves or hollow trees. A roost may consist of 10 to 100 bats.

Seba’s short-tailed bats are mainly frugivores (fruit eaters) and on leaving their roosts after sunset travel up to 1 to 3 miles from their roosts to feed on the fruits of low lying shrubs. They are known to feed on a range of over 50 species of fruiting plant. They also occasionally feed on pollen and insects generally foraging close to the ground.

They live in two types of groups, harems, made up of one male and many females, and bachelor groups, of adult and sub-adult males. Only about 20% of adult males defend harems, 80% living in bachelor groups. Seba’s short-tailed bats communicate using a wide range of vocalizations. Males and females warble to greet each other and harem males use screeches to warn off other males and control their females.

Female Seba’s short-tailed bats give birth to a single youngster after a gestation period of 115 to 120 days. They usually have two offspring per year: one in June to August when fruit production is at its height and one at the end of the dry season when flowers come into bloom (February to May).

They are common throughout their geographic range but still face the same threats as other bat species around the world, including hunting, habitat destruction, pesticide poisoning, and persecution by humans. Protection of roosting sites and education programmes to allay misguided fear of bats are important measures for the conservation of all bat species.