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Heritage 2019, 2(1), 553-567; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010036

The Monumental Mistake of Evicting Bats from Archaeological Sites—A Reflection from New Delhi

1
Independent Researcher, Basavanagar Road, Kagwad, Karnataka 591223, India
2
University School of Environment Management, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Sector 16 C, Dwarka, Delhi 110078, India
3
Biology Department, Lund University, 223 62 Lund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vulnerability Assessment of Cultural Heritage)
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Abstract

We highlight the importance of an integrated management policy for archaeological monuments and the insect-eating bats that roost inside them. We refer to India, but the issue is general and of worldwide significance. There is increasing evidence that the ecosystem services provided by insect-eating bats in agricultural fields are of vital economic importance, which is likely to increase as chemical pest-control methods become inefficient due to evolving multi-resistance in insects. We visited five archaeological sites in the city of New Delhi. We found bats at all five locations, and three of them harbored large colonies (many thousands) of mouse-tailed bats and tomb bats. These bats likely disperse over extensive areas to feed, including agricultural fields in the vicinity and beyond. All insect-eating bats should be protected and properly managed as a valuable resource at the archaeological sites where they occur. We firmly believe that “fear” of bats can be turned into curiosity by means of education and that their presence should instead enhance the value of the sites. We suggest some means to protect the bats roosting inside the buildings, while mitigating potential conflicts with archaeological and touristic interests. View Full-Text
Keywords: agroecology; archaeological conservation; biological control; heritage; ecosystem service; pest control agroecology; archaeological conservation; biological control; heritage; ecosystem service; pest control
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Umadi, R.; Dookia, S.; Rydell, J. The Monumental Mistake of Evicting Bats from Archaeological Sites—A Reflection from New Delhi. Heritage 2019, 2, 553-567.

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