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Bats of Bangladesh — A systematic review of the diversity and distribution with recommendations for future research

Citation

Ul Hasan, Md Ashraf; Kingston, Tigga (2022), Bats of Bangladesh — A systematic review of the diversity and distribution with recommendations for future research, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5tb2rbp7j

Abstract

Bangladesh is a South Asian country located at the crossroads of the Indochina and Indo-Himalayan subregions, making it a country of rich faunal diversity. Bangladesh's high population density paired with rapid habitat alteration leaving only 6% of its natural habitats threatens its faunal diversity. Over 1,455 bat species live on earth, providing immense ecological services to maintain biodiversity. The paucity of bat research in Bangladesh and the lack of comprehensive work has led us to set the goal of checking how many species are present in Bangladesh, and the possibility of bat species yet to have occurred. Here we compiled species occurrence data on the bats of Bangladesh and states in neighboring countries (India – states are West Bengal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram; Myanmar – states are Chin, Rakhine) from the museums (American Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Natural History Museum at United Kingdom, Field Museum of Natural History, Hungarian Natural History Museum, and Royal Ontario Museum), Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and literature, and constructed distribution maps for each species. The maps depicted both the fine-scale and coarse-scale distribution of the species. We confirmed 31 species are occurring in Bangladesh – among them, 22 species are confirmed with the voucher specimen, 15 species are associated with the preserved tissues, and one is confirmed with the morphometric data and key characteristics. Based on the species occurrence in the states of India and Myanmar, along with the habitat preference, an additional 83 species are yet to have occurred in Bangladesh. Among them, 38 species are categorized as Highly Probable, 33 species are Probable, and 10 species are Possible. We recommend bat surveys are urgent in Bangladesh using all complementary capture techniques that will contribute to voucher specimen collections and confirm the presence of bats. In addition, echolocation calls of bats can help establish call libraries.