Deforestation in Western Ghats drifting Bat species towards extinction, study

Bats living in the Western Ghats are at verge of getting extinct, says a new study. According to researchers, human intervention has resulted in deforestation, reducing the living habitat for bats. Due to heavy dependency on agriculture, people living in the Western Ghats have cleared forests for their own selfish reasons resulting in deforestation and ecological disbalance.

To evaluate the impact of deforestation for agriculture a team of researchers from the University of Leed in Britain Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore and National Centre for Biological Sciences, conducted a survey in which they observed all the bat species found in the Western Ghats.

After analysing the reports, researchers found that all type of plantation doesn’t affect the population of bats. It was found that some bat species can survive with coffee plantation while all other types of plantation seem to adversely affect the population. The survey revealed that nearly all the bat species found in Western Ghat are near to extinction and only proper steps from wildlife management team can save the species.

India’s Western Ghats comes among most biodiverse regions across the world. While being most biodiverse, it is also most densely populated biodiversity around the globe.

According to Professor, John Altringham, Leeds University, human intervention and self-centered development has left mere 6 percent of the original habitat in the region. He further added that bats are one of the best-known bioindicators and help in analysing the effect of humans on our flora and fauna. The study on bats suggests of imbalance in the ecosystem.

To make living, humans have constantly cleared the forest and cultivated land for growing vegetables, they also need space to build their houses. If nothing is done to prevent the forests in the Western Ghats then it would be a serious threat to several species living there. One of the team members said that coffee plantations are acting as refuges for wildlife. In addition, a careful balance of land use is important if we want wildlife to grow in the ghats.

Karnataka has a rich ecosystem and biodiversity. Although the bats living there have adjusted to plantations like coffee but still they are at verge of extinction and it should be an eye opener of the government because even the extinction of single species can disturb the life cycle and have cascading effect on other species which eventually could be catastrophic.

First published on Friday, August 21, 2015, 02:10 AM
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