Extreme Heat – and Maybe a Virus – Wiped Out Cambodian Bats

WCS 3-Sentence Science


  • newswise-fullscreen Extreme Heat – and Maybe a Virus – Wiped Out Cambodian Bats

    Credit: MATHIEU PRUVOT

1. A mass mortality event involving two bat species, the wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat (Chaerephon plicatus) and Theobold’s bat (Taphozous theobaldi) occurred during a heat wave in April 2016 in Cambodia. 
2. Field evidences, clinical signs, and gross pathology findings were consistent with a heat stress hypothesis, but the detection of a novel bat paramyxovirus raises questions about its role as a contributing factor or a coincidental finding. 
3. Systematic documentation of bat die-offs related to extreme weather events is necessary to improve understanding of the effect of changing weather patterns on bat populations and the ecosystem services they provide. 


Study and Journal:  "Extreme temperature event and mass mortality of insectivorous bats"   from  European Journal of Wildlife Research 
WCS Co-Author(s):  Mathieu Pruvot (Lead) , WCS Wildlife Health Program

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