IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Kolar Leaf-Nosed Bat

31st December, 2020 Environment

Context: Conservation plan on table to save bat species in Kolar caves-“The Kolar Leaf-Nosed Bat”.

  • Till several years ago, the Kolar Leaf-Nosed Bat was found in only two caves in the village of Hanumanahalli in Kolar district of Karnataka.
  • For reasons that are still unknown, the bat became locally extinct in one of the two caves.
  • The Karnataka Forest Department, along with the Bat Conservation India Trust (BCIT), is on a war footing to save the remaining bats, which are endemic to the area, from extinction.
  • In 2014, after a study conducted by Osmania University, the state government first came to know of the bats becoming extinct in one of the caves. The government immediately notified the 30 acres around the caves as protected area.

Kolar Leaf-Nosed Bat

  • It is exclusive to Karnataka and very little is known about this bat.
  • Bats are one of the least studied mammals in the country, though there are 130 species in India.
  • They are very adaptable creatures and therefore can often be found near human habitation or even in urban settlements, which makes them vulnerable.
  • They also have a bad image in the public eye, as carriers of diseases.
  • Bats are absolutely vital for the ecology as they are pollinators, their main diet being nectar.
  • The plants that bloom at night are entirely dependent on bats and moths for pollination.
  • Bats also help in insect control and therefore, help in the protection of crops.
  • There are five species of bats that live in the caves of Hanumanahalli, of which the Kolar Leaf-Nosed Bat is just one.

  • The Kolar leaf-nosed bat , or leafletted leaf-nosed bat is a species of bat in the family Hipposideridae.
  • It is endemic to India.
  • Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and caves.
  • It is found in only one cave in India, and its population is less than 200 individuals.
  • It is currently evaluated as critically endangered by the IUCN.
  • The Kolar leaf-nosed bat is found in only one cave, and its population is less than 200 individuals.
  • Its single cave is not on protected land, and the species itself is not protected by Indian law.
  • Its habitat is under threat due to illegal granite mining.