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Diversity 2018, 10(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10030091

Reproductive Ecology of Wrinkle-Lipped Free-Tailed Bats Chaerephon plicatus (Buchannan, 1800) in Relation to Guano Production in Cambodia

1
Fauna & Flora International (Cambodia), PO Box 1380, No. 19, Street 360, Boeng Keng Kong 1, Phnom Penh 12000, Cambodia
2
Harrison Institute, Bowerwood House, 15 St Botolph’s Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3AQ, Kent, UK
3
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn TR10 9EZ, UK
4
Sydney Institute of Agriculture, University of Sydney, Level 4, Biomedical Building, 1 Central Ave, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, NSW 2015, Australia
5
Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Epidemiology Unit, Phnom Penh BP983, Cambodia
6
CIRAD, UMR ASTRE, F-34398 Montpellier, France
7
ASTRE, Univ Montpellier, CIRAD, INRA, F-34398 Montpellier, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 5 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Conservation of Bats)
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Abstract

Wildlife populations in Southeast Asia are subject to increasing pressure from climate change, habitat loss and human disturbance. Cave-roosting bats are particularly vulnerable to all three factors. Because of the ecological services they provide, it is important to assess specific vulnerabilities to inform their conservation management. We evaluated the reproductive phenology and body condition of Chaerephon plicatus for 14 months in 2015–2016 and quantified guano harvesting at the largest colony in Cambodia in 2011–2016. As in Thailand and Myanmar, two annual breeding cycles were recorded, characterized as continuous bimodal polyoestry, with parturition primarily occurring in April and October. Significant declines occurred in body condition between the late wet season and the late dry season, suggesting that bats experience increasing energetic stress as the dry season progresses. Annual guano harvests increased over the study period but could not be used as a proxy for monitoring population size due to the loss of unknown amounts during the wet season and unquantified movements of bats between C. plicatus colonies in the region. We recommend studies to determine the scale and drivers of such movements and creation of sustainable guano harvesting and population monitoring initiatives to ensure the conservation of C. plicatus colonies in Cambodia. View Full-Text
Keywords: cave bats; reproduction; body condition; guano harvesting; seasonal tropics cave bats; reproduction; body condition; guano harvesting; seasonal tropics
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Furey, N.M.; Racey, P.A.; Ith, S.; Touch, V.; Cappelle, J. Reproductive Ecology of Wrinkle-Lipped Free-Tailed Bats Chaerephon plicatus (Buchannan, 1800) in Relation to Guano Production in Cambodia. Diversity 2018, 10, 91.

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