Extreme heat -- and maybe a virus -- wiped out Cambodian bats

May 16, 2019

A mass mortality event involving two bat species, the wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat (Chaerephon plicatus) and Theobold's bat (Taphozous theobaldi) occurred during a heat wave in April 2016 in Cambodia.

Field evidences, clinical signs, and gross pathology findings were consistent with a heat stress hypothesis, but the detection of a novel bat paramyxovirus raises questions about its role as a contributing factor or a coincidental finding.

Systematic documentation of bat die-offs related to extreme weather events is necessary to improve understanding of the effect of changing weather patterns on bat populations and the ecosystem services they provide.
-end-


Wildlife Conservation Society

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