A new bat species discovered in Truong Son forest

Scientists of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Graduate University of Science and Technology (the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology), National Museum of Natural History (Paris, France), the Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the Museum of Natural History of Hungary have published a study on taxonomy and the process of generating bat populations, which were earlier classified to belong to Hardwickei (Kerivoula hardwickii), the bat family Vespertilionidae in Asia on Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy.

Based on the combination of morphological and sequential research methods of the two mitochondrial genes and the seven human genomes of bat samples obtained, including standard samples at museums, researchers have developed the process of evolution, and proven that many species were previously misidentified as the Hardwicke bat. In Southeast Asia alone, at least three species of bat have been misidentified, one of which is known to be present in the Truong Son Range along Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, have never been described. Therefore, the authors describe and named this new bat Kerivoula dongduongana Tu, Hassanin, Furey, Son & Csorba, 2018.

Kerivoula dongduongana Tu, Hassanin, Furey, Son, Csorba, 2018 (Holotype). Photo: Vuong Tan Tu

The holotypes of the Kerivoula dongduongana Tucollected in the evergreen forest in the Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam, are less affected. Paratypes were collected at Pu Hu Nature Reserve, Nghe An Province, Vietnam and Virachey National Park, Ratanakiri, Cambodia.

So far, the ecological characteristics of Kerivoula dongduongana Tuhave not been studied, but they having only been recorded in pristine or less affected forests in the Truong Son Range shows that they are among species that have limited ecology, living mainly under the thick forest. This adaptive feature makes Kerivoula dongduongana Tu andmany other wildlife species, face many threats, mainly because their habitat and source of food are reduced due to loss of natural forests from war, natural disasters and especially illegal deforestation in recent years.

In order to avoid the disappearance of many species of wildlife living in the Truong Son Range before they are discovered, departments and sectors need to continue to promote forest protection and development; expand research programs to discover the values of potential biodiversity.

Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version

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