Open Access
Translator Disclaimer
1 June 2004 Population Size and Survival in the Indian False Vampire Bat Megaderma lyra
Kandula Sripathi, Hanumanthan Raghuram, Raman Rajasekar, Thangavel Karuppudurai, Suba Gnana Abraham
Author Affiliations +

We used the Jolly-Seber method to analyze mark-recapture data and estimate both survival and population size in the Indian false vampire bat Megaderma lyra in Madurai (South India). Population size of bats from 2001 to 2003 varied from 379 to 476, and showed fluctuation in numbers for both sexes. The mean (plusmn;SE) survival rate of females (1.26 ± 0.33) exceeded that of males (1.02 ± 0.16) although the differences were not statistically significant. We observed a gradual decline in reproduction as indicated by the number of pups born in each year. This was consistent with a declining trend in population size from 1995 to 2003. We hypothesize a few reasons for this fall in population size, including habitat destruction and human poaching of bats.



R. Advani 1981. Seasonal fluctuations in the feeding ecology of the Indian false vampire Megaderma lyra lyra. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 46: 90–93. Google Scholar


A. A. Allen 1921. Banding bats. Journal of Mammalogy, 2: 53–57. Google Scholar


A. N. Arnason , C. J. Schwarz , and G. Boyer . 1998. POPAN-5: A data maintenance and analysis system for mark-recapture data. Scientific Report, Department of Computer Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, viii + 318 pp. Google Scholar


N. Badwaik 1992. A note on the longevity of two Indian bats. Bat Research News, 33: 11. Google Scholar


J. Balasingh , S. Suthakar Isaac , and R. Subbaraj . 1992. A convenient device for tagging bats in the field. Bat Research News, 33: 6. Google Scholar


J. Balasingh , R. Subbaraj , and S. Suthakar Isaac . 1994. Sexual segregation in the Indian false vampire bat, Megaderma lyra (Microchiroptera). Bat Research News, 35: 7–9. Google Scholar


J. Balasingh , S. Suthakar Isaac, J. King Emmunuel , P. Thiruchenthil Nathan and B. Biju Selvan . 1997. Rehabilitation and conservation measures concerning the Indian false vampire bat, Megaderma lyra. Bat Research News, 38: 71–72. Google Scholar


A. Brosset 1962. Bats of central and Western India. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 59: 608–613. Google Scholar


K. P. Burnham , D. R. Anderson , G. C. White , C. Brownie , and K. H. Pollock . 1987. Design and analysis methods for fish survival experiment based on release-recapture. American Fisheries Society Monograph, 5: 1– 437. Google Scholar


K. Emmanuvel Rajan , and G. Marimuthu . 1999. Postnatal growth and age estimation in the Indian false vampire bat (Megaderma lyra). Journal of Zoology (London), 248: 529–534. Google Scholar


G A. Feldhamer , L. C. Drickamer , S. H. Vessey , and J. F. Merritt . 1999. Population processes. Pp. 400–103, in Mammalogy: adaptation, diversity and ecology. WCB/McGraw-Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, xii + 563 pp. Google Scholar


T. H. Fleming 1988. The short-tailed fruit bat, a study of plant animal interactions. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 365 pp. Google Scholar


K. Funakoshi , and T. A. Uchida . 1978. Studies on the physiological and ecological adaptation of temperate insectivorous bats. III. Annual activity of the Japanese house-dwelling bat, Pipistrellus abramus. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 23: 95–115. Google Scholar


D. J. Futuyama 1998. Evolutionary biology, 3rd edition. Sinauer, Sunderland, 763 pp. Google Scholar


J. Gaisler , and J. Chytil . 2002. Mark-recapture results and changes in bat abundance at the cave of Na Turoldu, Czech Republic. Folia Zoologica, 51: 1–10. Google Scholar


R. Gerell , and K. Lundberg . 1990. Sexual differences in survival rates of adult pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in South Sweden. Oecologia, 83: 401–104. Google Scholar


E. E. Green 1907. Bats feeding on birds. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 18: 190. Google Scholar


J. Habersetzer 1983. Ethoökologische Untersuchungen an echoortenden Fledermäusen Südindiens. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Frankfurt, Germany, 245 pp. Google Scholar


D. C. D. Happold , and M. Happold . 1996. The social organization and population dynamics of leaf-roosting banana bats, Pipistrellus nanus (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae), in Malwi, east-central Africa. Mammalia, 60: 517–544. Google Scholar


P. D. Heideman , and L. R. Heaney . 1989. Population biology and estimates of abundance of fruit bats (Pteropodidae) in Philippine submontane rainforest. Journal of Zoology (London), 218: 565–586. Google Scholar


H. B. Hitchcock , R. Keen , and A. Kurta . 1984. Survival rates of Myotis leibii and Eptesicus fuscus in Southeastern Ontario. Journal of Mammalogy, 65: 126–130. Google Scholar


S. D. Hoyle , A. R. Pople , and G. J. Toop . 2001. Mark-recapture may reveal more about ecology than about population trends: demography of a threatened ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) population. Austral Ecology, 26: 80–92. Google Scholar


I. E. Hoffmann , E. Mllesi , S. Huber , G. L. Everts , and J. P. Dittami . 2003. Population dynamics of European squirrels (Spermophilus citellus) in a suburban area. Journal of Mammalogy, 84: 615–626. Google Scholar


G. M. Jolly 1965. Explicit estimates from capture-recapture data with both death and immigration-stochastic model. Biometrika, 52: 225–247. Google Scholar


R. Keen 1988. Mark-recapture estimates of bat survival. Pp. 157–170, in Ecological and behavioural methods for the study of bats ( T. H. Kunz, ed.). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., xxii + 533 pp. Google Scholar


R. Keen , and H. B. Hitchcock . 1980. Survival and longevity of the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) in southeastern Ontario. Journal of Mammalogy, 61: 1–7. Google Scholar


J. Koilraj 1998. A study on cave ecology. Ph.D. Thesis, Madurai Kamaraj University, India, 100 pp. Google Scholar


C. J. Krebs 1989. Ecological methodology. Harper and Row, New York, 654 pp. Google Scholar


T. H. Kunz , and C. E. Brock . 1975. A comparison of mist-nets and ultrasonic detectors for monitoring flight activity of bats. Journal of Mammalogy, 56: 907–911. Google Scholar


M Lindberg and E. Rexstad. 2002. Capture-recapture sampling designs. In Encyclopedia of envirometrics ( A. H. El-Shaarawi and W. W. Piegorsch, eds.). John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, Vol. 1:251–262. Google Scholar


B. F. J. Manly 1984. Obtaining confidence intervals on parameters of the Jolly-Seber model for capture-recapture data. Biometrics, 40: 749–758. Google Scholar


G. Marimuthu 1997. Stationary prey insures life and moving prey ensures death during the hunting flight of gleaning bats. Current Science, 72: 928–931. Google Scholar


G. Marimuthu , and G. Neuwejler . 1987. The use of acoustical cues for prey detection by the Indian false vampire bat, Megaderma lyra. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 160: 509–515. Google Scholar


G. Marimuthu , K. E. Rajan , S. Kandula , S. Parsons , and G. Jones . 2002. Effects of different surfaces on the perception of prey-generated noise by the Indian false vampire bat Megaderma lyra. Acta Chiropterologica, 4: 25–32. Google Scholar


C. McCann 1934. The Indian vampire (Megaderma lyra) feeding on a Pipistrelle. Journal of Bombay Natural History society, 37: 479. Google Scholar


F. P. Möhres and G. Neuwejler . 1966. Die Ultra-schallorientierung der Groβblatt-Fledermäuse (Megadermatidae). Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Physiologie, 53: 195–227. Google Scholar


P. T. Nathan , D. P. S. Doss , J. Balasingh , K. E. Rajan , N. G. Nair , and R. Subbaraj . 2001. Mistnet capture and field observation on the shortnosed fruit bat (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) Cynopterus spinx (Vahl.). Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 98: 373–378. Google Scholar


G. Neuweiler 1989. Foraging ecology and audition in echolocating bats. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 4: 160–166. Google Scholar


W. W. A. Phillips 1922. Notes on the habits of some Ceylon bats. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 28: 448–452. Google Scholar


R. Pradel , and J. D. Lebreton . 1991. User's manual for program SURGE, version 4.2. Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive — CNRS, Mountpellier, France. Google Scholar


I. Prakash 1959. Foods of the Indian false vampire. Journal of Mammalogy, 40: 545–547. Google Scholar


R. D. Ransome 1989. Population changes of Greater horseshoe bats studied near Bristol over the past twenty-six years. Biological Journal of Linnean Society, 38: 71–82. Google Scholar


E. Renshaw 1991. Modeling biological populations in space and time. Cambridge University Press, New York, 350 pp. Google Scholar


S. Schmidt , S. Hanke , and J. Pillat . 2000. The role of echolocation in the hunting of terrestrial prey — new evidence for an underestimated strategy in the gleaning bat, Megaderma lyra. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 186: 975–988. Google Scholar


N. Schtickzelle , M. Baguette , and E. L. Boulenge . 2003. Modelling insect demography from capture-recapture data: Comparison between the constrained linear models and the Jolly-Seber analytical method. The Canadian Entomologist, 135: 313–323. Google Scholar


C. J. Schwarz 2001. The Jolly-Seber model: more than just abundance. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics, 195: 195–205. Google Scholar


G. A. F. Seber 1965. A note on multiple recapture census. Biometrica, 52: 249–259. Google Scholar


G. A. F. Seber 1982. The estimation of animal abundance and related parameters, 2nd edition. Macmillan, New York, 654 pp. Google Scholar


T. Sendor , and M. Simon . 2003. Population dynamics of the pipistrelle bat: effects of sex, age and winter weather on seasonal survival. Journal of Animal Ecology, 72: 308–320. Google Scholar


S. C. Stearns 1992. The evolution of life histories, Oxford University Press, New York, 262 pp. Google Scholar


T. R. E. Southwood 1978. Ecological methods — with particular reference to the study of insect populations. Chapman & Hall, London, xxiv + 524 pp. Google Scholar


K. Usman 1986. Some aspects of the population dynamics of the bat, Rhinopoma hardwickei in a cave system. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 83: 120–129. Google Scholar


J. O. Whitaker , and S. L. Gummer . 2000. Population structure and dynamics of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) hibernating in buildings in Indiana. American Midland Naturalist, 143: 389–396. Google Scholar


G. C. White , and K. P. Burnham . 1999. Program MARK: survival estimation from population of marked animals. Bird Study, 46 (supplement): 120–138. Google Scholar


G. S. Wilkinson and J. M. South . 2002. Life history, ecology and longevity of bats. Aging Cell, 1: 124–131. Google Scholar
© Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS
Kandula Sripathi, Hanumanthan Raghuram, Raman Rajasekar, Thangavel Karuppudurai, and Suba Gnana Abraham "Population Size and Survival in the Indian False Vampire Bat Megaderma lyra," Acta Chiropterologica 6(1), 145-154, (1 June 2004).
Received: 2 March 2004; Accepted: 1 May 2004; Published: 1 June 2004

Megaderma lyra
population estimation
survival rate
Get copyright permission
Back to Top