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Research Journal of Environmental Sciences
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 752 - 762

Impacts of Ecotourism on Bat Habitats in Caves of Kanger Valley National Park, India

Jayant Biswas, Shivam Shrotriya, Yogita Rajput and Saugata Sasmal    

Abstract: The roosting microchiropterans mostly prefer caves and are highly sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances. The caves of the Kanger Valley National Park, is becoming day by day the most crowd puller spot for Central India and due to which it often overruled all the laws of ecotourism. In the present study, two microchiropteran species were found to roost together in the caves of the Kanger Valley National Park, India with distinct microhabitats. Rhinolophus rouxii was found in the twilight to dark zone of the cave while Hipposideros cineraceus was found to occupy the more stable zones of the cave and was highly sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance. The population sizes of the bats roosting inside the two major caves have been estimated and compared with the earlier available records and this provides evidence of a decline in abundance. Further, the gestation/reproductive phase of these bat populations was also found to coincide with the period during which the caves remain under the highest anthropogenic pressure. In the present study several aspects which could threatened the existences of the cave bats have been noted and proper strategy to re-establish their populations have been discussed by maintaining more or less the tourist pressure intact in the caves.

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