My days on the island/interning are numbered but there is still so much to learn and so much to explore! How I wish I could extend my stay…
Growing up I have heard of the endangered sheath tailed bat (Sousouri bannann) but little did I know I would end up on an island where one of its roosts is located. Today I had the utmost privilege of learning about this rare and endemic species. Here’s how Island conservation Society (ICS) - Silhouette, monitors these critically endangered mammals.
An ICS worker’s job varies on Silhouette but when it comes to the sheath tailed bat they make sure they survey the island searching for new roosts weekly using automatic roost loggers (records all sound in the forest, frequencies inaudible to the human ear) .The team places these loggers all around the island focusing on the coastal areas and later collect them for data analysis (done on a weekly basis). Each of these loggers contains a microphone (records sounds) and an SD card (stores the data).This enables the sound waves to be analyzed on a Pc or laptop using a software called “AnalookW”. As the sheath tailed bat’s call frequency is known to be around 40 kHz, it is then possible to know whether or not bats have been detected in the surroundings of the loggers.
These insectivores face many threats as pesticides are often used to kill insects decreasing their food supply. They are also under great threat because of human disturbance and the bats flees after human interference in hope of finding another place to establish their roosts but fail in doing so. Invasive plants also play a lethal role in the lack of sheath tailed bat as they further degrade the habitat and can overgrow roost entrances, all these factors are preventing the population from recovering.
It is true that we, as humans pose a threat to sheath tailed bats but we can also help in saving them by restricting the amount of noise and disturbance we make while near their roosts which are located on Silhouette, Bel Ombre, Baie Lazare and Cap ternay (yes they have only 4 roosts). If you ever happen to spot a sheath tailed bat or might have information concerning the above be sure to contact ICS on 4375354 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You for reading!