Sunday, March 13, 2011
Backtrack # 5: ADVENTURE AT FRUIT BAT SANCTUARY (December 2008)
Even before it was recognized by the Guinness as the world’s largest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bats or Rousetteus amplexicaudatus, we already visited the Monfort Eco-Park Bat Cave at Barangay Tambo, Island Garden City of Samal somewhere on December 2008 with my LOGSAC mates Jonas, Papong, John Jay, Kimoy and Chickay. We had this sanctuary as our side trip when we attended the 1st MFSM Day held at Ana Marina Resort.
This cave has five openings with an estimated bat population of 1.8 million and has been considered colony of fruit bats. Fruit bats, like other bats, have very long, webbed fingers that serve as wings.
Fruit bats are nocturnal, and hang from their feet during the day. They may hang with their wings wrapped around their bodies, or, if it is hot, may use their wings to fan themselves. Although fruit bats are good at flying, landing is another story! Fruit bats can't land gracefully, and instead must crash into bushes or trees to come to a stop, or try to latch onto a branch as they pass by. Sometimes these crash-landings disturb other fruit bats at the site, and cause noisy fights amongst them.
Fruit bats, as their name hints, consume fruit and flowers. These bats usually suck on the flowers and fruit, then swallow the nectar or juice and spit out the remaining pulp.
Fruit bats are the largest among the species of bats, and one of the most important to humans. Many of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy on our table would not exist without these bats. They disperse the seeds and pollinate the flowers of many plants. Fruits that depend on bats for pollination or seed dispersal include: Bananas, Peaches, Avocados, Jack fruit, Mango, Guava, Cashews and Durian.
Threats to Survival: Habitat destruction is one big threat to the survival of many types of fruit bats. Storms, and hunting also contribute to the endangerment of some species.