Researchers discover 10 new bat species in Nigeria

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Iroro Tanshi, a bat conservationist and research director at Small Mammal Conservation Organisation (SMACON), says she and a team of researchers have discovered 10 new bat species in Nigeria.

Making the announcement on her social media page on Thursday, Tanshi said the team used suitable traps and targeted unstudied areas to make their findings.

“New paper! We report the discovery of 10 bat species new to Nigeria in Acta Chiropterologica. How? Use suitable traps & target unstudied sites! New scientific term introduced! Big thanks to my coauthors, donors, assistants, museums, & park managers. Link in description,” she tweeted.

According to a statement by SMACON, the result of the survey which lasted 15 months has increased Nigeria’s bat species to 100.

“After 15 months of intensive survey using mist-nets and harp traps to catch bats, award-winning bat specialist, Dr. Iroro Tanshi, led a research team that found 36 bat species, of which ten had never been seen in Nigeria before,” the statement reads.

“Tanshi and her research team combed through the forests of Afi mountain wildlife sanctuary and Cross River national park (Okwangwo Division) in Cross River between May 2015 to January 2018 to carry out this intensive bat survey.

“Before now, 90 species of bats were known to occur in Nigeria. And this number represents almost a third of the different species of bats that are known to occur in Africa.”