Harrison Institute

Kings Hill, United Kingdom

Harrison Institute

Kings Hill, United Kingdom
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Thomas N.M.,Harrison Institute | Duckworth J.W.,6 Stratton Road | Douangboubpha B.,National University of Laos | Williams M.,University of Greenwich | Francis C.M.,Environment Canada
Acta Chiropterologica | Year: 2013

This paper provides the first comprehensive review and detailed documentation of available information on the distribution and occurrence of bats in Lao PDR. Information was gathered from literature records, survey data, and museum collections. Detailed locality information, by province (with co-ordinates where available) and maps, along with details on specimens or published references are provided for each species. Based on these records, the bat checklist for Lao PDR comprises 90 species of seven families: Pteropodidae (nine species), Emballonuridae (three species), Megadermatidae (two species), Rhinolophidae (16 species), Hipposideridae (11 species), Vespertilionidae (47 species) and Molossidae (two species). Many of these records have not been previously published and several corrections are provided to previously published records, based on revised identifications as well as new taxonomic information. Nevertheless, many gaps remain in the information available on the bats of Lao PDR. No records were available from two provinces, and many species known from adjacent countries have not yet been documented in Lao PDR; thus, it is anticipated that the species list will increase with further field research. © Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS.

Davies K.T.J.,Queen Mary, University of London | Davies K.T.J.,Natural History Museum in London | Bates P.J.J.,Harrison Institute | Maryanto I.,Indonesian Institute of Sciences | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The vestibular system maintains the body's sense of balance and, therefore, was probably subject to strong selection during evolutionary transitions in locomotion. Among mammals, bats possess unique traits that place unusual demands on their vestibular systems. First, bats are capable of powered flight, which in birds is associated with enlarged semicircular canals. Second, many bats have enlarged cochleae associated with echolocation, and both cochleae and semicircular canals share a space within the petrosal bone. To determine how bat vestibular systems have evolved in the face of these pressures, we used micro-CT scans to compare canal morphology across species with contrasting flight and echolocation capabilities. We found no increase in canal radius in bats associated with the acquisition of powered flight, but canal radius did correlate with body mass in bat species from the suborder Yangochiroptera, and also in non-echolocating Old World fruit bats from the suborder Yinpterochiroptera. No such trend was seen in members of the Yinpterochiroptera that use laryngeal echolocation, although canal radius was associated with wing-tip roundedness in this group. We also found that the vestibular system scaled with cochlea size, although the relationship differed in species that use constant frequency echolocation. Across all bats, the shape of the anterior and lateral canals was associated with large cochlea size and small body size respectively, suggesting differential spatial constraints on each canal depending on its orientation within the skull. Thus in many echolocating bats, it seems that the combination of small body size and enlarged cochlea together act as a principal force on the vestibular system. The two main groups of echolocating bats displayed different canal morphologies, in terms of size and shape in relation to body mass and cochlear size, thus suggesting independent evolutionary pathways and offering tentative support for multiple acquisitions of echolocation. © 2013 Davies et al.

Phommexay P.,Prince of Songkla University | Phommexay P.,National University of Laos | Satasook C.,Prince of Songkla University | Bates P.,Harrison Institute | And 2 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2011

Although a large proportion of tropical rain-forest in South-east Asia has been replaced by rubber plantations, there is very little information about the impact of such forest conversion on bat diversity. To address this deficiency, trapping and acoustic monitoring programmes were carried out in Ton Nga Chang and Khao Ban That wildlife sanctuaries in southern Thailand with the purpose of comparing species diversity and activity of understorey insectivorous bats at sites in forest and in nearby monoculture rubber plantations. Insect biomass in both habitats was assessed. Bat species diversity and activity were found to be much lower in rubber plantations than in forested areas and mean insect biomass was determined to be more than twice as high in the latter habitat than in the former. Bats utilising forest were shown to have significantly higher call frequencies but marginally lower wing loadings and aspect ratios than bats found in both habitats. Management strategies to increase biodiversity in rubber plantations are discussed. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V.2011.

Hughes A.C.,University of Bristol | Satasook C.,Prince of Songkla University | Bates P.J.J.,Harrison Institute | Bumrungsri S.,Prince of Songkla University | Jones G.,University of Bristol
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2011

Aim The causes of a zoogeographic divide in peninsular Thailand around the Isthmus of Kra have not been adequately resolved. We explored climatic, historical and geological perspectives to gain insights into factors that may have contributed to the development and maintenance of this zoogeographic transition, and to determine whether a faunal transition occurs for bats. Location Southeast Asia, focusing on the Thai Peninsula. Methods Spatial principal components analysis was used to determine the relationship between climate and species distribution patterns. We studied bats (order Chiroptera) because of their ability to bypass small-scale geophysical barriers. Spatial data on bat species distributions on the Thai Peninsula were analysed in relation to multivariate measures of climate to determine the possible influence of climatic zonation on distribution patterns. We assessed the effects of the interaction of climatic zonation with the highly dynamic environmental conditions the area has undergone in relation to species distribution patterns. Results A zoogeographic transition was found, with 44 species (out of 127) restricted to the north of the Isthmus of Kra and 29 restricted to the south, although there were relatively few abrupt changes in distribution at the exact position of the isthmus. Northern and southern species were associated with specific climatic conditions. Major transitions in the distribution of bat species exist at 6-6.5°N and 13-13.5°N, with a smaller peak at 11.0°N. These major peaks fall in the same areas as the borders of climatic zones, and the 6-6.5°N peak falls in the same area as a floristic divide (the Kangar-Pattani Line). Main conclusions On the mainland, climatic zones cause gradual changes in species distributions. However, in addition to climatic factors, repeated changes in the breadth of the Sunda Shelf during recent glacial cycles may have caused locally high extinction rates at narrow points on the peninsula, exacerbating transitions in species distribution patterns along the region, in the context of a peninsula effect that reduces opportunities for recolonization. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Soisook P.,Prince of Songkla University | Karapan S.,Halabala Wildlife Research Station | Satasook C.,Prince of Songkla University | Bates P.J.J.,Harrison Institute
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

A new species of Murina belonging to 'suilla-group' is described based on two specimens collected with harp traps in lowland evergreen forest in the southernmost part of peninsular Thailand. Morphology and molecular (mitochondrial COI) data suggest that the new species is most closely related to M. eleryi, which is currently known from Indochina. The new species, however, can be distinguished by the size and shape of the upper canine, the shape of the upper and lower premolars, and the colour of the ventral pelage. Additional data on bacular morphology, echolocation, ecology, and dis-tribution are included. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.

Hughes A.C.,University of Bristol | Hughes A.C.,Prince of Songkla University | Satasook C.,Prince of Songkla University | Bates P.J.J.,Harrison Institute | And 2 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2012

Southeast-Asia (SEA) constitutes a global biodiversity hotspot, but is exposed to extensive deforestation and faces numerous threats to its biodiversity. Climate change represents a major challenge to the survival and viability of species, and the potential consequences must be assessed to allow for mitigation. We project the effects of several climate change scenarios on bat diversity, and predict changes in range size for 171 bat species throughout SEA. We predict decreases in species richness in all areas with high species richness (>80 species) at 2050-2080, using bioclimatic IPCC scenarios A2 (a severe scenario, continuously increasing human population size, regional changes in economic growth) and B1 (the 'greenest' scenario, global population peaking mid-century). We also predicted changes in species richness in scenarios that project vegetation changes in addition to climate change up to 2050. At 2050 and 2080, A2 and B1 scenarios incorporating changes in climatic factors predicted that 3-9% species would lose all currently suitable niche space. When considering total extents of species distribution in SEA (including possible range expansions), 2-6% of species may have no suitable niche space in 2050-2080. When potential vegetation and climate changes were combined only 1% of species showed no changes in their predicted ranges by 2050. Although some species are projected to expand ranges, this may be ecologically impossible due to potential barriers to dispersal, especially for species with poor dispersal ability. Only 1-13% of species showed no projected reductions in their current range under bioclimatic scenarios. An effective way to facilitate range shift for dispersal-limited species is to improve landscape connectivity. If current trends in environmental change continue and species cannot expand their ranges into new areas, then the majority of bat species in SEA may show decreases in range size and increased extinction risk within the next century. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Thong V.D.,University of Tübingen | Puechmaille S.J.,University College Dublin | Denzinger A.,University of Tübingen | Dietz C.,University of Tübingen | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2012

A new species of Hipposideros is described from Vietnam. Morphologically, it is similar to taxa in the Hipposideros armiger complex but is substantially smaller. The new species, which has been found living sympatrically with H. armiger in Cat Ba National Park, is distinguished from it by size, acoustic characters, and differences in the mitochondrial DNA. Currently, the new taxon is known from Cat Ba Island in Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam and from Chu Mom Ray National Park, which is situated on the mainland some 1,000 km to the south. It was collected in disturbed and primary forests. © 2012 American Society of Mammalogists.

Renner S.C.,University of Ulm | Baur S.,University of Ulm | Possler A.,University of Ulm | Winkler J.,University of Ulm | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Food availability for forest birds is a function of habitat type, forest management regime, and season. In winter, it is also impacted by variations in the weather. In the current study we assessed the food preferences of wild bird populations in two types of forest (spruce and beech) during the months of November 2010 to April 2011 in the Schwäbische Alb Biodiversity Exploratory, south-western Germany. Our aim was to investigate whether local bird communities preferred fat-rich, carbohydrate-rich or wild fruits and to determine how forest structure, seasonality and local weather conditions affected food preferences. We found higher bird activity in beech forests for the eleven resident species. We observed a clear preference for fat-rich food for all birds in both forest types. Snow cover affected activity at food stations but did not affect food preferences. Periods of extreme low temperatures increased activity. © 2012 Renner et al.

Isolated teeth of Chiroptera from the Creechbarrow Limestone Formation of late Middle Eocene age are reported. Five distinct chiropteran taxa are present. A new species of Archaeonycteris is described, representing the last survivor of this archaic genus. Two rhinolophoid species include the hipposiderid Pseudorhinolophus schlosseri and Rhinolophidae gen. et sp. indet. Vespertilionoid bats are represented by one species Stehlinia quercyi. A single trigonid represents a small species, which could have affinity with the genus Ageina. © Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS.

A review has been undertaken of the biological diversity and distribution of small mammal taxa throughout the ten terrestrial ecoregions and the sixteen principal protected areas of Nepal. One hundred and eighteen species of small mammal representing the Orders Chiroptera, Scandentia, Lagomorpha, Soricomorpha, and Rodentia are acknowledged to occur in Nepal and the distribution of each is analysed with reference to specimens listed in museum and university collections databases or detailed in published papers and reports. A further twenty-two species that are of uncertain provenance or status in Nepal are considered. One hundred and nineteen ecoregion maps document the distribution of species, while the generic richness of small mammal Orders and the distribution of Threatened and endemic taxa are mapped and discussed. All localities are listed in a gazetteer, which indicates the coordinates and elevations of 595 collection sites in Nepal. Nineteen individual recommendations are made with a view to resolving systematic irregularities and conflicts in taxonomic identifications (accession numbers of particular specimens are given where possible), to eliminating inaccuracies in type localities and species' citations, and to determining protected and other areas that would benefit from biodiversity assessments. In addition, four 25 km2 zones are identified as important sites in which to conduct field surveys to determine the presence of Threatened, Near Threatened, and Data Deficient taxa. Mus pahari Thomas, 1916 is recorded from Nepal for the first time based on material in the collections of The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. The record extends the known range of the species 214 km to the west. It is considered that the classification of the Nepalese Field mouse, Apodemus gurkha, as Endangered (I.U.C.N., 2008) does not reflect the true status of the species in Nepal and an argument is propounded for the downgrading of the taxon to a lower category. The historical and political background to the study of natural history in Nepal is explained and the principal scientific investigations into the country's small mammal fauna since 1824 are summarised. It is concluded that 41% of Nepal's volant and terrestrial small mammal species are represented only by a modest number of specimens and that the small mammal fauna of 65% of the country remains unaudited. © 2011 Magnolia Press.

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