ESR 8:5-13 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00151

Conservation of the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis on Silhouette Island, Seychelles

Justin Gerlach*

Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles, 133 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge CB1 7BX, UK

ABSTRACT: The critically endangered Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis on Silhouette Island has been studied since 1997. The species occupies small caves in boulder fields in lowland woodland. Lepidoptera and Coleoptera dominate the diet, with a strong preference for the latter before and during the breeding season (November to April). Foraging areas change seasonally according to wind direction, and foraging occurs in gaps in the woodland. Mature native woodland is favoured due to the abundance of Coleoptera in this habitat. Habitat management on Silhouette has removed alien plants from around the roosts and improved foraging conditions for the bat. This has been accompanied by increases in foraging activity in managed areas and an increase in breeding activity. The population at La Passe on Silhouette has increased from 14 to 25 ind. in the 1990s to 32 in 2008. The management approach is to be extended to another area of Silhouette where bats have been located and should also be used on Mahé. Increases in human development activity on Mahé and Silhouette may threaten population recovery of this bat, and legal controls on development in appropriate habitat are urgently needed. With effective legal controls and intensive habitat management recovery of this species is possible.


KEY WORDS: Conservation · Emballonuridae · Habitat · Population · Restoration


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Cite this article as: Gerlach J (2009) Conservation of the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis on Silhouette Island, Seychelles. Endang Species Res 8:5-13. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00151

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