Battambang: Mystery surrounds the decline in numbers of the Bats of Battambang. The finger of blame is being put on hot weather and blood thirsty bugs. Community officials managing the Phnom Sampov Bat Cave say the collection of bat droppings has dropped by 30-40% compared to previous years. They say many bats have died.
Head of the Bat Cave Management Community in Samnang Village in Battambang’s Phnom Sampov Commune, Roeun Savon, says the two main caves in the area have yielded about 200 bags of guano, compared to the 250 bags or more that have been collected in the past.
According to Savon, the yield is down due to the death of many bats in the western and eastern caves, which used to have about 1.5 million bats. They believe the bats are dying because of increased temperatures and a mysterious new bug that is killing the bats. He says the dead bats have been found bloodless. They also showed bite marks, leading to suspicions about a new kind of bug that is feeding on the bats.