The Flying Foxes of Mombasa

By Njoroge Chege, TBA Alumni – Kibale 2012

Straw coloured fruit bats
Source: http://www.stephenbelcher.net

Flying foxes, commonly known as bats are the second most diverse and abundant of mammals with great physiological and ecological diversity.

Previously unknown to science and considered mysteries, bats play important ecological roles in seed dispersal and pollination, which help to maintain plant communities, and insect control, which limits the distribution and abundance of many pests responsible for spreading human diseases and causing significant economic damages to crops and livestock.

Unfortunately, despite their numerous benefits, poor understanding of their ecosystem benefits, along with negative perceptions and traditional beliefs have often resulted to habitat destruction and direct killing attempts at roost sites.

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