Costa Rican Bat Diversity

This topic submitted by Chad Peters ( petersc1@miamioh.edu) at 9:11 PM on 3/27/06.

Grunts are abundant at Molasses Reef, Key Largo, Florida.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University


Anyone who has read "The Neotropical Companion" should know that the neotropics contains the greatest diveristy of bats in the world. In fact 39% of the mammals in the neotropics are bats. In this project I intend to explore the great diversity of bats in Costa Rica. I will discuss the sheer richness of species, why Costa Rica is such a good habitat for bats, the factors that are threatening their diversity and how they can be conserved (I will also go more indepth on some of the regions more unique species like the Fisherman bat).

I feel that this topic is important because for several reasons. First, Rainforests are disappearing worldwide and as a result many of the organisms that call them home are disappearing as well; bats are no exception. I am not convinced that people in general are aware of just how diverse the bat population of the neotropics really is. Secondly, bats continue to be widely misunderstood creatures, I see this as an oppertunity to show that they are not the vicious blood suckers seen in horror movies but rather are highly unique and specialize organisms that are vital to their repective ecosystems.

Outline

Diversity
-how many species
-discuss the most unique species (fisherman bat, vampire bat, jamican fruit bat)
Why so Diverse
-reasons why there is so much diversity
--habitat
--climate
--nutrient availabiltiy
Endangered
-how many are already endangered
-how many are treatened
-how many are endemic to Costa Rica
Conservation
-how can the bats be conserved
-what is already being done
Conclusion

References
Baker, Christopher. "Mammals." Photo.Net. 2006. Luminal Path Corporation and contributors. 26 Mar. 2006 .

Bernstein, Mike, Clint Barnett, Chris Gutshall, and Anthony Smith. "The Selection of Astrogyne Martiana Leaves for Tents by Artebius Watsonii Bats." World Class Adventures in Education. 1998. World Class Adventures In Education. 27 Mar. 2006 .

"Conserving Costa Rica's Bats." Vesatours.Com. 2002. Vesatours. 27 Mar. 2006 .

"Fisherman Bat, Bulldog Bat - NOCTILIO LEPORINUS." Americazoo.Com. America Zoo. 27 Mar. 2006 .


Laval, Richard K., and Bernal Rodriguez-Herrera. "Conserving Costa Rica's Bats." Bat Conservation International (2003). 27 Mar. 2006 .

"MAMMALS." Centralamerica.Com. 2005. Moon Handbooks. 26 Mar. 2006 .

"TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: the Canopy." Mongabay.Com. 2005. Rhett Butler. 27 Mar. 2006 .


Tuttle, Merlin D. "Can Rain Forests Survive Without Bats?" Bat Conservation International (1983). 27 Mar. 2006 .


"Vampire Bat (Desmodus Rotundus)." Infocostarica.Com. 2005. infocostrica. 27 Mar. 2006 .


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