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The Bat Fauna of Meghalaya, Northeast India: Diversity and Conservation

  • Uttam Saikia
  • Adora Thabah
  • Oana Mirela Chachula
  • Manuel Ruedi
Chapter

Abstract

Because of past and present geo-climatic condition and unique biogeographic history, the state of Meghalaya harbours a rich bat fauna. An inventory of the bat fauna of the state consisting of 65 species in eight families with distributional information on each species is presented. Four species namely Megaerops niphanae, Pipistrellus ceylonicus, Tylonycteris malayana and Miniopterus pusillus find first mention from the state. This account is primarily based on reliable published information and online collection database of museums and is supplemented by the chiropteran collection in Zoological Survey of India, Shillong, and recent field observations. Despite the rich diversity, bat fauna of the state is facing multiple existential threats especially from mining and associated activities. These threats and other conservation issues are also being discussed briefly.

Keywords

Meghalaya Northeast India Chiroptera Threats Conservation 

Abbreviations

AMNH

American Museum of Natural History

EGH

East Garo Hills

EJH

East Jaintia Hills District

EKH

East Khasi Hills District

HNHM

Hungarian Natural History Museum

RB

Ri-Bhoi District

SGH

South Garo Hills District

UMMZ

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan

FMNH

Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago

WGH

West Garo Hills District

WJH

West Jaintia Hills District

WKH

West Khasi Hills District

ZSIS

Zoological Survey of India, Shillong

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thankfully acknowledge inputs from Dr. Gabor Csorba of Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, on taxonomic nomenclature and identity of certain bat species in Meghalaya. US acknowledges departmental support and encouragement from Dr. Kailash Chandra, Director, ZSI, Kolkata; Dr. K. Venkataraman, former Director, ZSI, Kolkata, and the Officer-in-Charge, ZSI, Shillong and staff members of ZSI, Shillong. AT would like to acknowledge MBZ species conservation fund for conducting her research, Prof. Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol for his support and encouragement, Mr. Aaron Massar for his help in the field and photography and the Meghalaya Forest Department for permissions to carry out field work. Finally, we are indebted to Brian D. Kharpran Daly from the Meghalaya Adventurers Association, Thomas Arbenz, Simon Brooks and other team members of the Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Project for providing access to the forests and help in the field work and also to Dr. Partap Singh Kataria from PG College Bikaner for field assistance during 2016 expedition and to Dr. Gabriel Chișamera, mammalogist from “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History, Bucharest, for accompanying in the field during 2013 and 2014 caving expeditions in Meghalaya and sharing his observations.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uttam Saikia
    • 1
  • Adora Thabah
    • 2
  • Oana Mirela Chachula
    • 3
  • Manuel Ruedi
    • 4
  1. 1.Zoological Survey of India, North Eastern Regional CentreShillongIndia
  2. 2.Solar View CottageUpper Mawprem, ShillongIndia
  3. 3.National Museum of Romanian HistoryBucharestRomania
  4. 4.Department of Mammalogy and OrnithologyNatural History Museum of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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