Petition: Save India’s Kolar Leaf-nosed Bat

March 19, 2015 / India, Asia
The Kolar Leaf-nosed Bat.

The Kolar Leaf-nosed Bat. Photo by Dr. Bhargavi & Tariq A Shah

An online petition has been launched in hopes of protecting an endangered bat species only known to reside in a single cave, from a nearby granite mining operation.

The Kolar Leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros hypophyllus) had not been sighted since it was first described in 1994, until a team rediscovered a colony of them in a small granite cave in 2013.

The cave is so narrow that it is impossible to determine the exact number of the population inside. Endemic to India, the bats are found only in the Kolar district of which they are named.

Unfortunately nearby illegal granite mining activity has progressed to within 100 meters (328 feet) of the cave entrance.

The organizer of the campaign, Bhargavi Srini, is convinced that if the illegal mining activity is not stopped and the bats not accorded protection we will “lose the only roosting site housing this glorious Kolar leaf-nosed bat from the face of the earth.”

In an effort to aid the bats, Srini has organized a petition to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi and Karnataka Forest Department to demand that the bats be added to Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.

Five other bat species including the another endemic and endangered Durga Das’s leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros durgadasi) are also known to reside in the cave through the use of visual and acoustic monitoring.

To find out more and to sign the petition to protect the bats, visit change.org petition page.

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