Frugivorous Bats: An Overview and Its Management
Keywords:Biology, Fruit bats, Management, Nature of damage
There are 12 species of fruit bats in India, although just three, the Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus), the short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx) and the fulvous fruit bat (Rousettus leschenaultia are found virtually everywhere). Grapes, guava, mango, sapota, custard apple and arecanuts are all vulnerable to attack by fruit-eating bats. Use of scare devices, banging drums, light torches, playing recorded warning calls, using repellents and installing nylon nets are all techniques proposed for managing fruit-eating bats. However, when compared to the destruction caused by other vertebrates like birds, squirrels, monkeys and mongooses, the harm done by bats is seasonal and relatively minor. In addition, only fully ripe fruits that have passed the harvest stage are eaten; therefore there is no impact on the commercial crop. In the short run, netting and scaring them away could be highly beneficial. The potential benefits and drawbacks of planting trap trees should be considered.
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