The previously unknown life cycles of two species of insect-eating bats have been determined for Bonaire by this project. We found these species at a cave located in the Bakuna area, where scientific research was never conducted before. We defined the yearly patterns of use of this cave by 3 different bat species that inhabit it. We did this by conducting monthly captures at the cave entrance for 12 continuous months, using one harp trap and two 6-meter mist nets. Captured specimens provided us basic but essential information: species ID, gender, age, their reproductive condition (sexually active males, pregnant females, lactating females, post-lactating females), weight, parasites load and overall health. Additionally, we collectedt feces to look for microplastics and other contaminants. All individual bats captured were released after the data was collected. After 12 of these sessions, we know what species of bats are using this cave as a maternity chamber at what time of the year. This information is crucial to provide proper protection and management to these bat populations.
Time Frame: March 2018 – September 2019
Funding Status: Approved
Funders: Dutch Ministry
Partners: WILDCONSCIENCE, Dutch Government (LNV), Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire (OLB)