ISSN: 1800-427X (print)
eISSN: 1800-427X (online)

Submitted date: 18 February 2013
Accepted date: 26 April 2013
Published date: 15 June 2013
Pp. 94–96.

Evidence of Saccolaimus saccolaimus (Chiroptera) roosting in a building in Sri Lanka

G.M. Edirisinghe, B.S.A.T.H. Sudasinghe* & Y. Mapatuna
*Corresponding author. E-mail: hsudasinghe@gmail.com

Sri Lanka is a critical area for global biodiversity conservation but rapid land–use changes endanger much of its fauna. Though understudied and under–estimated, bats are a critical component of Sri Lanka’s diversity. Comprising nearly one third of the overall terrestrial mammals of Sri Lanka, bats provide vital ecological and economic services. Sri Lanka has 30 species of bats that belong to 15 genera and seven families. Emballonuridae (Sheath– tailed bats) are widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In Sri Lanka, there are three species of Emballonurids, Saccolaimus saccolaimus (Temminck, 1838), Taphozous longimanus Hardwicke, 1825 and Taphozous melanopogan Temminck, 1845. Phillips (1980) indicates that Saccolaimus saccolaimus, the Naked–rumped Pouched Bat was once common throughout the lowlands of both dry and the wet zones in Sri Lanka but less common in the highlands. However, now this species is considered to be extremely rare and was not recorded in an extensive five year survey conducted by Yapa & Ratnasooriya (2006) and has been missing from the Sri Lankan bat inventory for 75 years. It was re–discovered in 2011 at an estate in Kurunegala, Wayamba Province roosting in a hollow of a coconut tree. The previous record of this species is from Cheddikulam in 1936.

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