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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bats endangered in Jharkhand

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Bats are mammals that are naturally capable of true and sustained flight. Their forelimbs are modified to develop into wings that are webbed. There are some other mammals too that can fly. Flying squirrels, gliding possum, and colugos are mammals that can glide for short distances. Digits of bats are long and covered with thin membrane. They do not flap their entire forelimb. Rather, they flap their spread out digits. Worldwide, there are about 1,100 species of bats out of which about 70 percent are insectivorous. Most of these are nocturnal.
Bats are wonderful creation of nature. Habitat destruction including deforestation and hunting are serious threats to their existence. In Jharkhand the existence of bats is specially endangered not only due to deforestation but due to hunting. Here, large sized bats are eaten by many traditional communities and one can see their meet being sold in rural markets.

Once, the Central Mine Planning and Development Institute(CMPDI) planted eucalyptus trees in the southern part of the historic ground of Morabadi of Ranchi, the capital of the state. Those trees grew to form the shape of a dense forest. But gradually local people started cutting the trees one by one and the so called forest has remained just a cluster of few trees. Trees that are left, have grown nicely to form good canopies. These canopies are inhabited by thousands of bats. Fortunately, bat eaters have not so far spotted them so far as I can guess. This is the reason why they exist here. Ranchi is not considered as a good place for lovers as it lacks open spaces and parks etc. The sparse eucalyptus forest of Morabadi serves as abode for sellers of country liquor and lovers who can be seen here and there standing and talking. To their misfortune, the chief Minister has chosen one of the houses near the field as his residential place due to Vastu reasons. This condition has made the place rather busy. However, neither bats, country liquor sellers, nor the lovers of afraid of these conditions.

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In some countries animal lovers are careful towards the protection of bat species. In Florida people take interest in attracting bats and protecting them. At some places they have constructed very good and big houses for bats. In Jharkhand, unfortunately, no any of such effort has so far been taken up.

Image: 4 A Bat House in Florida (source- Wikimedia)

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