Diversity and conservation of cave-roosting bats in central Ghana

Evans Ewald Nkrumah*, Heather Joan Baldwin, Ebenezer Kofi Badu, Priscilla Anti, Peter Vallo, Stefan Klose, Elisabeth Klara Viktoria Kalko, Samuel Kingsley Oppong, Marco Tschapka

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    42 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Background: Ghana is one of the six bat diversity hotspots on the African continent, yet its caves have not been fully explored for the bats they host. 

    Research Aims: We aimed to assess the species composition and diversity of five caves in central Ghana and identified those needing immediate conservation attention. 

    Methods: Using mist-nets, we captured bats over 102 full nights between October 2010 and July 2012 from the Upper Guinean forest and Savannah regions in central Ghana.

    Results: A total of 10,226 bats belonging to nine species were recorded. PERMANOVA suggested significant variation in species composition among the caves. A SIMPER analysis revealed Coleura afra and Hipposideros jonesi to be the main discriminating species between caves, with a dominance of Hipposideros cf. ruber in all caves. The Bat Cave Vulnerability Index (BCVI) revealed Mframabuom cave from the Upper Guinean forest region as a high priority cave hosting threatened species, yet highly disturbed. The remaining caves were identified as medium priority caves. 

    Conclusion: The results of the study suggest the need for further research and an immediate conservation strategy as essential for approaching national conservation goals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalTropical Conservation Science
    Volume14
    Early online date28 Jul 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Keywords

    • abundance
    • Africa
    • cave
    • Chiroptera
    • species richness

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