Explore the Caves to See Borneo's Bats

September 08, 2011
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Although nature travel to the island of Borneo can allow visitors to see beautiful turquoise waters and hundreds of technicolor birds in the sky, venturing underground gives explorers a whole new world to discover. According to Bat Conservation International, the island is home to more than 100 species of bats, many of which live in the vast cave system there.

At Mulu National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors can discover the wonders in some of the world's largest caves, 295 kilometers of which have been explored. At Deer Cave alone, 12 species of bat have been discovered, including the wrinkle-lipped bat.

This bat is found across South Asia, but is most common in Malaysia. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC), it is a threatened species because of deforestation and conversion of land for agricultural use. In addition, mining and extraction practices that are occurring throughout the area threaten the bat's survival. Colonies of hundreds of thousands of these animals can be destroyed as a result of these human activities.

There are currently no conservation efforts in place for this species of bat, and the IUNC ranks it "least concerning" on its scale of species in danger of extinction. However, the organization recommends the protection of key roosting sites and public awareness.

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