Friday, February 25, 2011

Species of the Month - the Lesser dawn fruit bat

Eonycteris spelaea
Lesser dawn fruit bat or long-tongued dawn fruit bat

Order:  Chipotera, Family Pteropodidae

Eonycteris spelaea or the Lesser dawn fruit bat or long-tongued dawn fruit bat is a tiny fellow with a wing span of only 6 to 8 cm.  It has large eyes, and small, simple ears. The muzzle is narrow and the tongue long and extendable.

The lesser dawn fruit bat is found throughout most of south Asia, including the forests of Taman Negeri Selangor.

Lesser dawn fruit bats are gregarious, roosting during the day in the high ceilings of caves in colonies numbering from a dozen to over ten thousand individuals. The roosting colony is divided into sexually segregated clusters. This species may share the roost with other bat species.

This species is nocturnal and will often travel 20 to 40 km from their day roosts to the night flowering trees where they feed. Lesser dawn fruit bats forage in flocks. Feeding occurs between 1900 and 0200 hours.

Diet consists primarily of the nectar and pollen of night flowering plant species and are generalists that have been documented feeding on over 31 plant species. They enjoy durian fruit nectar and pollen, and it is suggested that they are the among the most important pollinators of this economically important fruit - which add hundreds of millions of ringgit to the Southeast Asian economy annually.

A behavior unique to E. spelaea is the production of wing-clapping sounds during movement in dark situations. This is thought to be a primitive form of echolocation that aids orientation, or simply a product of slowed flight which may reduce the force with which bats collide with other objects in dark caves.

Lesser dawn fruit bats are thought to be polygynous with single males mating with multiple females. Breeding intervals are unknown, but females may breed up to twice each year.  After a gestation period of 3 – 6 months, the female will give birth to 1 to 2 young.  The young are weaned after 3 months, and reach sexual maturity in 6 to 12 months for females, and 1 – 2 years for males.

It is not known how long the Lesser dawn fruit bat can live in the wild.  The longest  lifespan of other fruit bats, in captivity include straw-colored fruit bats (Eidolon helvum), 21.8 years; flying foxes (Pteropus), 31.4 years; and rousette fruit bats (Rousettus), 22.9 years.

Conservation of the species

Lucky for the Lesser dawn fruit bat, it is considered of lower risk concern by the IUCN.  But the threats to the species include loss and degradation of forest habitat, hunting and human disturbance.  

The undisturbed forests of Taman Negeri Selangor are so important for the survival of wild creatures like the Lesser dawn fruit bat as well as for the survival us human beings, too.  

For More Information, please visit:

The very excellent website of   University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s website Animal Diversity  Most of the information and both the photos were extracted from this site.  Thank you UMMZ!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Organic Mulch

As the organisers for the blog site, TrEES would like to share with you Organic Mulch, our newsletter.  We hope you enjoy reading it!  You can visit us at our website, under the links listed at the right.  Thank you for all your support.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

1m Climate Deaths a Year by 2030

This is serious.

"By 2030, climate change will indirectly cause nearly one million deaths a year and inflict U$157 billion (RM487 billion) in damage in terms of today's economy, according to estimates presented by at the United Nations talks..." This article came out in the NST in early December 2010. Many of you may have seen it already NST, TechandScience

This is yet one more article to support the fact that we Malaysians can no longer bury our heads in the sand when it comes to the environment. We cannot keep saying we must 'educate the children, because the adults are a lost cause.'

If we adults don't start taking immediate action to protect the environment, our children's quality of life may be a lost cause!

Protecting Taman Negeri Selangor from future encroachment and development, and conserving its biodiversity and ecological functions is an important local step in helping to reduce the impact of climate change.

Many of you who read this blog are already very concerned and environmentally active people. Please keep up your excellent efforts to help protect and conserve the environment. Please keep spreading the message about the Park, and keep reminding your family and friends how our every day habits impact the Park and the environment in general (and as the attached article tells, impacts ourselves and our children).

It is also important that we keep reminding our government that they need to take the environment seriously and make it a priority. This needs to be from the very top, federal level, to the state level, and down to the local level - where so much of the actions by our local councils directly impact our lives and our local environment. You can do this by writing to editorials in the newspapers, meeting up with your local Adun and MP, keeping tabs on development plans in your district.

Keep up the good work and keep up the pressure on the authorities to protect and conserve Taman Negeri Selangor, and Malaysia's amazing natural environment! Once it's gone, it's too late to act.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


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