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.
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Vol. 6 • No. 1