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Sandy Sowler Returns To Lapalala

9 March 2009

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Bat expert Sandy Sowler returned to Lapalala in a bid to follow up on some tantalizing bat calls she recorded on her last visit to the reserve.

She is hoping to catch as many bats as possible and set up her nets in varying wild pockets of the reserve.

Once the African night has fallen, nocturnal creatures came out in abundance…and bats, fortunately, were no exception.

Sandy caught and recorded three new species of bat for the Lapalala database. The first specie into the nets was the tiny Pipistrellus zuluensis. This particular one was male.

The second bat that was captured used an old pumphouse as a feeding ground. This slit-faced bat, or Nycteris, has a highly evolved echo-location system. Its long ears and slit are perfect echo location tools.

The final bat species was as surprise to Sandy – a Scotophilus dinganii, or yellow house bat. Larger than the other two, it is clearly distinguished from its yellow fur.

Sandie explains why bats are important…

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