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Biology

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This insect-eating bat catches its prey on the wing, using an echolocation call that sweeps from a very high frequency (178 kHz) to a much lower one (58 kHz), and is repeated extremely rapidly. Its wing shape is perfect for a high degree of control in flight, making the bat relatively slow but highly manoeuvrable amongst the vegetation (2). Breeding occurs all year round and, like most bat species, the mother gives birth to a single pup, which weighs around a quarter of her weight. At the beginning of its life, the pup clings to its mother's belly as she forages but is soon able to fly alongside her and catch its own prey. After just one year, the young clear-winged woolly bats are able to breed (4).
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Conservation

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Deforestation for agriculture, particularly for oil palm plantations in recent years in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, is an issue of major concern for many forest-dwelling species, even within so-called protected areas. Regarding oil palm, some companies and large retailers have agreed to source palm oil from sustainable sources via a certification process developed by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil. The principal criterion relevant to biodiversity is that new plantations have not been established on land of High Conservation Value (5). Many scientific and charitable groups contribute to bat monitoring and local education programmes that can help to reduce persecution and raise awareness of the natural assets of the land (4).
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Description

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Aptly named, the clear-winged woolly bat is identifiable by its translucent wings. Its fur is very long and fluffy, ranging in colour from pale grey to dark brown, and fading to near white on the underside. The muzzle, has no noseleaf, the ears are usually a strong pinkish-yellow colour, and the teeth are sharp (2).
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Habitat

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The clear-winged woolly bat is found in the understorey and lower canopy of rainforest. It appears to roost in dead leaves in small groups that have close social bonds (2).
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Range

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This species is found in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and the Philippines (3).
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Status

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Classified as Lower Risk / Least Concern (LR/lc) on the IUCN Red List (1).
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Threats

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Deforestation and forest fragmentation pose the greatest threat to the clear-winged woolly bat. The rapid increase in land devoted to commodity agriculture (such as cocoa, coffee, oil palm, rice and rubber) has resulted in extensive loss of forest in the last 20 years. In recent years, one of the largest agricultural drivers of deforestation in Malaysia, Sumatra and Thailand has been oil palm. Together, Malaysia and Indonesia export 88 percent of the world's palm oil, for use in products such as margarine, lipstick and detergent. In addition, despite the contribution of many bats in the control of insect crop pests, persecution of bats is also a threat (5) (6).
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Clear-winged woolly bat

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The clear-winged woolly bat (Kerivoula pellucida) is a species of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae. It is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Members of this species are relatively small, typically weighing about 4.5g and mainly forages in the understory of tropical forests. This species also presents a unique variant of echolocation that is a higher intensity and lower frequency than most other kerivoula calls. The sort range calls are distinguishable from the long range orientational echolocation calls by peak frequency and duration.[2]

Appearance

As the name suggests, this bat has relatively translucent wings that are approximately 30-32 millimeters long. Translucent wings are a unique feature for this bat that allow for easy identification. The body length is 44-48 millimeters with a 41-47 millimeter long posterior tail. This is not a traditional tail, as the skin flaps that make up the wings attach behind the animal here. The bats dorsal and ventral fur ranges in color, with the dorsal portion being primarily a range of pale grey to dark brown. No fur is found on the wings of this bat. The fur color exhibits a smooth transition to white on the ventral side of the animal. No nose leaf is present on the muzzle of the bat. The ears are a pinkish-yellow color.[3]

Biology

Clear-winged woolly bats typically inhabit the understory and lower canopy, typically roosting in dead leaves. Mating occurs year-round and the mothers give birth to single pups at a time that generally weigh about a quarter of the mothers weight. Until they are able to fly, the pups cling to their mothers belly as she forages. Once they are able to fly, they will forage alongside the mother. Sexual maturity is reached at one year of age. As with many other species, habitat destruction is the primary threat to this species.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b Nor Zalipah, M. (2020). "Kerivoula pellucida". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T10983A22021330. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T10983A22021330.en. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  2. ^ Kingston, T. (2000). "Social Calls in Clear-Winged Wooly Bats Kerivoula pellucida from Malaysia". Bioacoustics. 11 (1): 1–16. doi:10.1080/09524622.2000.9753446. S2CID 83568779.
  3. ^ Kingston, T., Liat, L.B. and Akbar, Z. (2006) Bats of Krau Wildlife Reserve. Penerbit UKM, Bangi.
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Clear-winged woolly bat: Brief Summary

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The clear-winged woolly bat (Kerivoula pellucida) is a species of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae. It is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Members of this species are relatively small, typically weighing about 4.5g and mainly forages in the understory of tropical forests. This species also presents a unique variant of echolocation that is a higher intensity and lower frequency than most other kerivoula calls. The sort range calls are distinguishable from the long range orientational echolocation calls by peak frequency and duration.

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