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The Honduran White Bat
Transcript of The Honduran White Bat
The Honduran White Bat
Basic Description & Measurements
The Honduran White Bat is a white-furred bat with yellow noses, ears and wings. Their scientific name, Ectophylla Alba, means literally "Outside-leaf white", referring to the leaf-shaped nose and its white fur.
Size: 3.7 - 4.7
Weight: 5 - 6g
Threats & Conservation
Population numbers of the Honduran white bat are reported to have declined significantly, as the spread of agriculture and urban development have destroyed suitable habitat. A century ago, 80 percent of Costa Rica was forested, but today that figure has fallen to just 20 percent. The dependence of the Honduran white bat on a very specific habitat, that is, forest with a suitable density of Heliconia plants, makes this species vulnerable to extinction.
What is it?
The Honduran white bat (Ectophylla alba) is a species of bat found in Central America, specifically the Honduran islands. These white bats were first written about in 1982, meaning that they are a recent discovery.
How has it adapted to protect itself against predators?
Its body is covered in fine white hair, and although at first this may appear somewhat impractical, the effect of sunlight shining through the leaves of its shelter casts a green light across the bat roosting underneath, providing effective camouflage from predators.
Although not aimed specifically at the Honduran white bat, there are a number of conservation projects in progress, or planned, throughout Central America, aiming to decrease and potentially halt the rapid deforestation that the region is currently undergoing. Conservation and environmental groups such as the WWF, the Nature Conservancy and a number of volunteer groups have a strong presence in the area. Whilst Costa Rica has lost vast areas of its forest, fortunately today about a quarter of Costa Rica’s remaining forests are protected. A conservation programme for the country’s bats has also been developed, which includes research, conservation actions, and efforts to educate the public about bat conservation.
The Honduran White Bat is only found in the Caribbean Lowlands of Central America, from Honduras, through Nicaragua and Costa Rica to western Panama. These places provide it with Heliconia leaves so they can make their own roosts.
White fur reflects light to camouflage itself.
By Rowan Storey