2006 Survey of Old World Bats in Malaysia

In a preliminary field survey to assess bat diversity and ecology in Malaysia, a team of Malaysian and US scientists found a total of 259 specimens representing at least 46 species with an additional 13 individuals yet to be identified to species level.

A preliminary field survey was conducted to assess bat diversity and ecology in Malaysia by a team of researchers from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Texas Tech University (TTU) in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Sarawak Forestry Corporation and Sabah Parks.

The team found a total of 259 specimens representing at least 46 species with an additional 13 individuals yet to be identified to species level. Three nights were spent sampling at each locality and on average, four harp traps and 10 mist-nets were set each night. Mount Penrisen recorded the highest species diversity with at least 27 species followed by Kubah National Park and Krau Game Reserve with 17 species, Bako National Park with 14 species and Monggis Sub Station with 12 species. We found at least four new geographic records; Arielulus cuprosus, Hipposideros ridleyi, Myotis adversus, and Hesperoptenus tomesi for Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.

They also documented unexpected geographic variation in several genera of both megabats and microbats. Additionally they collected earwigs (Arixenia sp.) from an Eonycteris major and documented facial glands on male Hipposideros species. Voucher samples are now being deposited at the Unimas zoological museum and will be further verified and curated at TTU. Further study using DNA tools will be able to provide greater resolution on the diversification and genetic diversity of these old world bats from Malaysia.

A MOU between Texas Tech University and Unimas was signed to formalize the scientific collaboration between the two institution. Future series of biodiversity surveys and phylogeography work will extend the area of coverage in Sunda region and Asian mainland as well as the screening on potential zoonoses will be included.

The field work was supported by Mr James Sowell fund to RJB and Unimas grants to MTA and being called the Sowell-Unimas Expedition 2006. The survey was conducted at five localities from the 3rd to 19th of August 2006. Localities include Krau Game Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia (03° 35' 45.6" N 102°10' 54.2" E, 72 m a.s.l.); Monggis Sub-station,Kinabalu Park (06º 12' 1.5" N 116º 45' 7.5" E, 330m a.s.l.) in Sabah; Bako National Park (01º 42' 59.5" N 110º 26' 39.3" E, 8 m a.s.l.), Kubah National Park (01°36' 42.3" N 110° 26' 39.3" E, 8 m a.s.l.), and Mount Penrisen (01°07' 41.4" N 110° 13' 06.7" E, 857 m a.s.l.) in Sarawak.

Anwarali, F.A., Swier, V.J.., Larsen, P.A., Solari, S., Besar, K., Wahap, M., Huzal, I.H., Ratnawati, H., Laman. C.J., Ellagupillay, S., Marklarin, M., Baker, R.J. and MT. Abdullah

Published: 07 Jan 2007

Contact details:

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak94300 Kota SamarahanSarawak, Malaysia

News topics: 
Content type: 

http://www.unimas.my/ Universiti Malaysia Sarawak