Thursday, 18 April 2019

Fruit bats are reforesting African woodlands


APRIL 2, 2019
Not only do intact ecosystems delight the eye of nature lovers, they also help people financially. However, it is difficult to put an exact figure on how much money they actually generate in specific cases. For the first time, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell, together with their colleagues from Sweden and Ghana, have now calculated the ecological and financial benefits of straw-coloured fruit bats in Africa.
Every night, individuals of this bat species fly long distances to their feeding grounds in the course of which they disseminate the seeds of the fruits they consume. According to the researchers, a colony of 150,000 animals disseminate more than 300,000 small seeds in a single night. This is sufficient to kickstart the regrowth of 800 hectares of forest – for a single colony. Thus, both forests and humans could benefit from better protection for these creatures, which are primarily at risk from hunting.


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