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Bats of Southern and Central Africa

Bats of Southern and Central Africa

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Bats of Southern and Central Africa: A Biogeographic and Taxonomic Synthesis by Ara Monadjem, Peter John Taylor, FPD (Woody) Cotterill, M Corrie Schoeman
Published by Wits University Press
http://witspress.book.co.za/blog
BOOK PREVIEW

Bats of Southern and Central Africa: A Biogeographic and Taxonomic Synthesis by Ara Monadjem, Peter John Taylor, FPD (Woody) Cotterill, M Corrie Schoeman
Published by Wits University Press
http://witspress.book.co.za/blog

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Published by: LittleWhiteBakkie on Sep 06, 2010
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12/22/2015

The devotion of bat collectors in southern Africa

has led to the establishment of several major

Chiroptera collections, housed in the following

southern African museums: the Amathole Museum

(previously the Kaffrarian Museum; King William’s

Town), the Durban Natural Science Museum, the

National Museum (Bloemfontein), the South African

Museum (Cape Town), the Northern Flagship

Institute’s Transvaal Museum (Pretoria), the Natural

history Museum of Zimbabwe (Bulawayo), and the

Namibian National Museum (Windhoek). There are

smaller mammal collections in Angola (Lubango and

Dundo), Zambia (Livingstone), Malawi (Blantyre)

and Mozambique (Maputo). These important

resources, located within Africa, complement the

major natural history museums in Europe and North

America.

Figure 5. (a) A small part of the wet collection of mammals, Natural history Museum of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo.
(b) The study skins and skull collection of small mammals in Bulawayo is estimated at over 50,000 specimens,
including invaluable series of bats. A series of Mops midas is arrayed in the foreground (© F. P. D. Cotterill).

fg. 5a

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MUSEUM COLLECTIONS AND PIONEErING rESEArChErS 15

Figure 6. Senior Technical Ofcer
Alick Ndlovu, Natural history Museum
of Zimbabwe, collating feld data on bat
specimens in western Zambia in November
1998. Alick Ndlovu deserves special credit
for his sterling eforts in re-cataloguing
the entire Mammal Collection (NMZB),
which includes nearly 9,000 specimens of
Chiroptera (© F. P. D. Cotterill).

Figure 7. (a) Prototype of a bicycle trap placed under a crevice roost ~100 m up a granite precipice; the trap is
suspended from pulleys secured on the inselberg summit (Cotterill and Fergusson 1993). (b) Three species of free-tailed
bats captured from their crevice roost using a bicycle trap near Chikupu Caves, including Chaerephon ansorgei and
C. bivittatus, with a Tadarida fulminans in the foreground (Murigabveni, northeast Zimbabwe; © F .P. D. Cotterill).

fg. 6

fg. 7a

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16

BATS OF SOUThErN AND CENTrAL AFrICA

Figure 9. harp trap set over a side channel of the
Limpopo River (© F. P. D. Cotterill).

Figure 8. (a) A harp trap set in a path through forest
understory, near Sakeji School, northwest Zambia. (b)
Detail of the three banks of nylon lines that intercept
fying bats. This design was modifed from that of
Tidemann and Woodside (1978) (© F. P. D. Cotterill).

fg. 8a

fg. 8b

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS AND PIONEErING rESEArChErS 17

Figure 10. (a) Macronet (30×6 m) awaiting nocturnal feldwork (Chivi District, southern Zimbabwe). The
modifed 8 m yacht masts are held erect by guy ropes. (b) Detail of the net links and pulley system that
facilitates rapid access to netted bats (© F. P. D. Cotterill).

fg. 10a

fg. 10b

The following European and North American

museums hold signifcant collections from Africa

(including its southern and central regions): the

American Museum of Natural history (New york),

the California Academy of Sciences Natural history

Museum (San Francisco), the Carnegie Museum of

Natural history, (Pittsburgh), the Field Museum of

Natural history (Chicago), the harrison Zoological

Museum (Sevenoaks), the Los Angeles County

Museum, the Museum Alexander Koenig (Bonn),

the Museum of Comparative Zoology (harvard), the

Museum of Natural history (Berlin), the Muséum

national d’histoire naturelle (Paris), the royal

Ontario Museum, the royal Museum of Central

Africa (Tervuren), the Smithsonian’s National

Museum of Natural history (Washington D.C.),

the Natural history Museum of the University of

Kansas (Lawrence), the State Museum of Natural

history (Stuttgart), and the Natural history Museum

(London). A full list of museums and their acronyms

is provided on page 534.

Despite this heritage of information gathered over

two centuries of collecting, our knowledge of the

basic aspects of biology of the majority of bat species,

not least their distributions, remains very poor. The

magnitude of this defciency is quantifed across the

pages of this book. There are just too few collectors

and scientists relative to the high diversity of bats

occurring in our region. This makes contributions

by enlightened and observant amateur bat workers

all the more valuable. Signifcantly, four out of the

fve southern African records of two rare species,

Tadarida lobata and T. ventralis, constitute specimens

found dead by the public and submitted to the muse-

um in harare, Zimbabwe. Scotoecus albofuscus was

recorded for the frst time in South Africa when two

18

BATS OF SOUThErN AND CENTrAL AFrICA

12°E 16°E 20°E 24°E 28°E 32°E 36°E 40°E

8°S

12°S

16°S

20°S

24°S

28°S

32°S

Figure 11. This map shows the distribution of the 6,000 museum specimen
records used to create the maps in this book. Red dots mark specimens that have
been personally checked by at least one of the authors.

amateur bat workers responded to distress calls by a

pregnant female bat (the bat later gave birth to twins

and died in their care). Additional specimens of this

rare bat have been located in the Durban region by

bat rehabilitators. The frst South African records

of the rare Scotophilus nigrita were discovered in bat

houses manufactured by a local bat enthusiast, Nigel

Fernsby.

The rapid rate of habitat change across large

regions of southern Africa, under burgeoning human

demands for natural resources, magnifes the signif-

cance of the defciencies in our knowledge. It under-

pins arguments to improve our knowledge of bats

and indeed all biodiversity.

BAT BIOLOGy 19

This section gives an introduction to the biol-

ogy of bats. The behaviour of individual

species is discussed in the species accounts

section. More detailed information, beyond this over-

view, can be obtained in the specialised and compre-

hensive literature, including Adams and Pedersen

(2000), Kunz (1982, 1988), Kunz and racey (1998)

and Kunz and Fenton (2003). hill and Smith (1984),

richarz and Limbrunner (1993), Altringham (1996)

and Neuweiler (2000) are readable syntheses that

contain valuable information about the natural histo-

ry of the Chiroptera.

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