Bangladesh Has at Least 31 Bat Species! – Ashraf’s first PhD paper is out

Bat research is limited in Bangladesh, so to date estimates of bat diversity in the country have been based on a few ad hoc studies and expert opinion.  To gain a more complete understanding, Ashraf compiled species occurrence data from the literature, museum records and the Global Biodiversity Information Framework (GBIF). He set out to confirm species presence and identify species that might be expected to occur in Bangladesh based on occurrence records in neighboring countries and habitat preferences. To visualize the distribution of bats, Ashraf made maps for each species recorded from Bangladesh and species that might occur in the country.

He found a total of 31 species are recorded for Bangladesh – but only 22 are associated with voucher records. Evidence for nine species came from photographs and/or human observation. An additional 81 species were recorded from surrounding countries. Of these, 38 species are highly likely to occur in Bangladesh.

Ashraf holding a female Greater false vampire bat (Lyroderma lyra) carrying its pup captured from his study site in Bangladesh

So what is next? To expand the country list, Ashraf recommended that surveys of bats in Protected Areas, caves and wetlands be prioritized. Surveys should use multiple methods, including contemporary techniques (harp traps and acoustics) that have not been used in Bangladesh before, as well as traditional ones (mist nets). He emphasized that voucher specimen collections are needed to confirm the presence of and distribution of bats in Bangladesh and identify areas central to bat conservation.

The locality records based on Ashraf’s study show the distribution of Greater false vampire bat (Lyroderma lyra) in Bangladesh

Citation: Ul Hasan, M. A., & Kingston, T. (2022). Bats of Bangladesh—A Systematic Review of the Diversity and Distribution with Recommendations for Future Research. Diversity, 14(12), 1042. https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121042

Publication link: https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/14/12/1042

Supplementary Materials (Listing S1, and Scheme S1): https://www.mdpi.com/article/10.3390/d14121042/s1

Supplementary Materials (Figure S1, Figure S2, Table S1, Table S2): https://datadryad.org/stash/dataset/doi:10.5061/dryad.5tb2rbp7j

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