Of the various methods used to estimate bat colony size, photography is currently one of the least explored. The potential advantages of using photography, however, are numerous, particularly for colonies with high numbers of individuals. This paper describes how the authors used photographs to estimate bat roosting density in the world’s largest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette fruit bat on Samal Island, Philippines. Colony density was highly variable and possibly influenced by physical features of the cave and circadian rhythms of the bats. The methods outlined in this study provide a basis for reliable population estimates that will be vital to conservation efforts.
Carpenter, E.-S., R. Gomez, D.L. Waldien & R.E. Sherwin (2014). Photographic estimation of roosting density of Geoffroy’s Rousette Fruit Bat Rousettus amplexicaudatus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) at Monfort Bat Cave, Philippines. Journal of Threatened Taxa 6(6): 5838–5844; Download here
One, two, lots! Rousettus amplexicaudatus at Monfort Cave