Samal Bat Cave: The World’s Largest

Apr. 26, 2007

DAVAO CITY — The Monfort Bat Cave on Samal Island was recently determined to house the worlds largest colony of Geoffroys rousette fruit bats (Rousettus amplexicaudatus) with approximately 1.8 million bats. Bat Conservation International (BCI) the leading bat conservation organization based in Austin, Texas, U.S.A. came to visit the Monfort cave last June 2006 to evaluate the cave and determine its relative significance. BCI identified potential threats and provided management and research recommendations. The current colony exceeds the carrying capacity of the cave as large numbers of bats roost in risky locations, even on the ground which is very unusual and under large rocks on the cave floor making them very susceptible to predation by rats, crows, snakes, cats and dogs. Hunting by humans and disturbance of this species in other bat caves in the region has likely driven many bats to seek refuge in the protected Monfort Bat Cave.

A Declaration of Understanding was signed in June 2006 by Monfort Conservation Park, Bat Conservation International, several key organizations such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office, The Island Garden City of Samal, Kinaiyahan Foundation, Inc. Peace Republic, Inc, and the Foundation for the Philippine facilitate the long term protection of the cave.

In January 2007, Norma Monfort, MCPark Trustee together with a group of local conservationists and Bat Conservation International scientist, Dr. David L. Waldien established the Philippine Bat Conservation, Inc. (PBC) a non-governmental organization in order to facilitate and lead regional conservation of bats and critical habitats through specific action-oriented partnerships, to help conduct conservation, research, and education activities at the Monfort Bat Cave which is being established as a national model for bat conservation and management.

On April 20, 2007, Mrs. Teresita B. Antalan accompanied by the Honorable City Mayor of IGACOS, Rogelio Antalan and assisted by Dr. David Waldien did the honors of cutting the ribbon during the official opening of PBCs outdoor educational exhibit entitled The Wonders of Bats. The event hosted jointly by Philippine Bat Conservation and the Monfort Conservation Park was widely attended by various government and non-government organizations, local barangay officials and guests from both the business and private sectors all wishing that the exhibit which is now a permanent fixture at MCPark will let people know the ecological value of bats, the significance of the Monfort Bat Cave instilling in each visitor the pride of co-ownership and feeling that sense of responsibility to understand and take care of all those who share this planet with us.

For more information: /

Philippine Bat Conservation

145 Jose Rizal Street, Davao City, Philippines

(082) 221-8925 (082 225-8854 / 09177054295

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