A Field Guide to the Bats of Sri lanka
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Prof. Wipula Bandara Yapa
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The diversity of bats in Sri Lanka parallels that of other mammals. Bats, with a staggering 30 species, contribute to as much as one third of the mammalian fauna in the island. Many of these species are insectivores while a few feed on fruit or nectar. They are spread across the island in both natural and anthropogenic habitats and occupy a diverse array of habitats ranging from caves to tree crevices, to roofs of abandoned houses. Recent surveys have confirmed population declines of these species with as many as seven being listed as nationally threatened species. One must not forget, however, that few of the fruit eating bats are considered pests. The current field guide by Prof. Wipula Yapa provides vivid illustrations of the Sri Lankan bats, many photographed for the first time. The excellent colour illustrations are accompanied by textual information which includes descriptions of the characteristic features and information on their distribution, habitats and food habits. A specially valuable contributin is the identification of species that are suspected to be pests or those known to be facing risk. Highlighting these species of special concern will encourage management efforts to maintain and, when appropriate, to rebuild viable populations. The author of this book “Field Guide to Sri Lankan Bats”, Prof. Wipula Yapa is a pioneering researcher on Sri Lankan bats. He clearly and effectively documents bat fauna of Sri Lanka which as yet is largely unknown. No other work has dealt so elaborately with this important group of mammals. The information is presented in a clear and lucid style to educate nature lovers, students as well as the general public. To researchers this book will help solidify their knowledge on the ecology of the bat fauna of Sri Lanka. The publication of this book would no doubt contribute immensely to improving awareness and knowledge thus enhancing bat conservation and management in Sri Lanka.
About the Author
Prof. Wipula Yapa started studies on Sri Lankan bats over 30 years ago. After graduating from the University of Kelaniya in 1985, he carried out an ecological study on cave dwelling bats in Sri Lanka. He proceeded to Germany in 1990 for his doctoral studies and received his PhD from the Ludwig Maximillians University of Munich. He returned to Sri Lanka in 1995 and joined the Department of Zoology, University of Colombo. In 1995, he initiated an ecological survey on the distribution of bats in Sri Lanka, which was one of the detailed surveys carried out in Sri Lanka in recent times. His research expands to many areas such as breeding habits, roosting ecology, migration, social behavior and pathogens of bats. He is currently serving as a Professor in Zoology and is the Head of the Department of Zoology & Environment Sciences of the University of Colombo.
Dilmah Conservation was initiated in 2007 by Dilmah to incorporate environmental conservation efforts into the MJF Charitable Foundation, which focuses on social justice. Dilmah Conservation works towards the sustainable use of the environment in partnership with various governmental and non-governmental organisations. The pledge made by Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando to make business a matter of human service is deeply ingrained in the work carried out by Dilmah Conservation. For additional information visit our website at: www.dilmahconservation.org
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