Sunday, February 23, 2014

Just Another Batty Monday

Hey ya'll

Mondays are generally a downer in most people's weekly routine but there are ways of coping with the dreaded Monday Blues. For me, nothing will beats surfing the interwebs and finding a visual goldmine such as this. 
Now this may look like a fairly unassuming hole in the ground, picturesque maybe but hardly anything to shout about... 
Until the photographer zooms in to reveal this...
...and this
...and THIS!!! 
The images above, that seem to be a vision straight out of any naturalist's dreams or chiroptophobe's nightmares is a one of a kind phenomenon that is only observable at the Monfort Bat Sanctuary on Samal Island, Philippines. There are some 5 openings leading to a network of underground caves that are home to an estimate of 1.8 million individuals of Rousette fruit bats (Rousettus amplexicaudatus). Other bat species that may be found in these subterranean networks are the Lesser False Vampire bat (Megaderm spasma) and flying foxes (pteropus sp.) making it the largest colony of its kind in the world since recorded history. Because they live in the tropics and food is abundant all year round the bats are continuously feeding and mating and breeding that overcrowding has begun to pose a serious problem. Using heat thermal cameras researchers have observed bats acting aggressively toward pups and at times, even cannibalizing them as young and adult bats alikejostle about for space in the tightly packed cavern. In an effort to elaviate the probme, management of the Monfort Bat Sanctuary have even proposed the construction of artificial caverns and networks that will enable the bats to roost more comfortably. The caves are maintained and managed by Ms Monfort, a local resident of Samal, who works with bat conservationists to protect the habitat of what is undoubtedly the single most impressive congregation of flying mammals in the world. 

Bats leaving the caves at dusk in search of food
Rare sighting of an albino bat, who is also a mother making a stark contrast among her brown and black peers.
And a closeup of the beautiful mother and her young
Photo credits: Josh Aggars @ Flickr
If you are interested in witnessing this or learning more feel free to contact the Monfort Bat Sanctuary directly at their Facebook Page: Monfort Bat Sanctuary @ Facebook 

Peace Out! :) 

No comments: