Bat (Mammalia: Chiroptera) diversity, dominance, and richness in the southwestern region of Bhutan with three new records for the country

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Sangay Tshering
Dhan Bahadur Gurung
Karma Sherub
Sumit Dookia
Kuenzang Dorji
Pema Choephyel


Bats are ecologically crucial as they are good pollinators and pest controllers, but are less known in Bhutan.  We investigated bat diversity and richness in broadleaved forests of southwestern Bhutan.  Fieldwork was carried out from July 2016 to April 2017 using mist nets and hoop nets.  The main objective of the study was to document bat diversity and species richness. We captured 157 bats of 10 species belonging to four families. Two species (Myotis siligorensis Horsfield, 1855 and Rhinolophus affinis Horsfield, 1823) accounted for almost 52% of the total captures.  Species richness of bats differed depending upon habitat types. Myotis siligorensis was captured more often from broadleaved forests whereas Rhinolophus macrotis Blyth, 1844 and Rhinolophus affinis were common around human settlements. The present study contributed three new records for Bhutan which increased the bat diversity from 65 to 68 species. We conclude that the southwestern region, especially Chukha District, could be one of the bat diversity hotspots in Bhutan. 

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