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Madagascar Conservation & Development

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Bats roosting in public buildings: A preliminary assessment from Moramanga, eastern Madagascar

N Razafindrakoto, A Harwell, RKB Jenkins

Abstract


Madagascar has many synanthropic bat species but relatively little is known about how people interact with them. A preliminary assessment on the presence of bats in buildings and their interactions with people was conducted in the eastern town of Moramanga. Fifty of the 156 buildings were reported to contain active bat colonies and 46 of these were in schools. The bats, two species of Molossidae, roosted principally in the roof spaces of buildings that were more than ten years old. Users of the buildings were relatively tolerant of the bats, although 41 % reported negative attitudes because of the odor of roosting colonies and some concerns over the possibility of contracting respiratory ailments from bat faeces. Guano accumulated in classrooms and was observed on floors and desks. Basic renovations could improve the learning environment for children and could be conducted in a bat friendly way. More research is needed to assess the health risks to people from interacting with bats in Madagascar, and this includes people who study, eat, and handle bats or work and live in buildings or caves where bats roost.

KEY WORDS: Madagascar, Moramanga, building, bats, health.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mcd.v5i2.63136
AJOL African Journals Online