Bat

Scientific Name

Over 200 species of African bats — Africa is home to 20 percent of the world’s bats.

Weight

Varies by species, with the smallest only 5 grams (.18 ounces) and the largest about 377 grams (13 ounces)

Size

Varies by species — the largest African bat (hammer-headed fruit bat) has average wingspan of 840 mm (33 inches).

Life span

15 years in the wild

Habitat

Tropical and lowland rainforests as well as savannas

Diet

Herbivorous or frugivorous

Gestation

Average 9 months

Predators

Humans, owls, hawks, falcons, and snakes.

Live in colonies of
100,000
or more
There are over
200
bat species in Africa
Bats hang by their
feet
While they eat
Bat

Challenges

Humans are killing bats.

In some parts of Africa, bats are considered a delicacy. Elsewhere, they are considered pests and killed to prevent the destruction of fruit crops and due to the musky odors and noise emanating from their roosting places. Elsewhere, the flying mammals are slaughtered because of superstition. In West and Central Africa, they are harvested for bushmeat.

People are encroaching on bats’ habitats.

Bats are highly susceptible to environmental factors and climate change. As human populations grow and in turn agriculture, settlements, and roads expand human-wildlife conflict increases. While overall population abundance is unknown, a well-known colony in Uganda declined in numbers over a 40-year period, dropping from 250,000 to 40,000 individuals.

Solutions

Our solution to protecting the bat:

Safari/Tourism
Expand conservation tourism.

African Wildlife Foundation brings together communities with private investors to construct lodges benefitting people and wildlife. In Botswana, Ngoma Safari Lodge, a high-end luxury lodge, brings tourism revenue into the local economy, which is then invested back into the community and into continued conservation efforts in the area. The lodge protects wild spaces, allowing the bat, and other wildlife, to have space to live undisturbed.

Bat
Bat

Habitats

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