Wroughton’s Free-Tailed Bat, Otomops wroughtoni

Wroughton’s free-tailed bat (Otomops wroughtoni) is a species of free-tail bat that can be found in a restricted range that includes a small portion of Cambodia and the Western Ghats. Its range is so small that it only appears in a few areas including two places in Karnataka, India and in the Barapede Caves between in the Belgaum district. Its exact distribution is not known, however, because the species is not often seen.

There is not much known about Wroughton’s free-tailed bat, but it is thought to gather in small groups between two and fifteen male and female individuals. It is known to be threatened by human actions like tourism and roost disturbances, but it is also threatened by invasive plant species. The population at the Barapede cave is threatened by a proposed dam, which could potentially submerge the cave. There are no known populations in protected areas, but the species is protected by Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act and is proposed to be highly protected by Cambodian law in the future. More information is needed about the habits, range, and population numbers of this species before proper conservation efforts can begin, so it appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Data Deficient.”

Image Caption: Wroughton’s Free-tailed Bat photographed from North Karnataka. Credit: Kalyanvarma/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)