‘eighty years of promoting biodiversity conservation through taxonomic research, scientific training and international networks’

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

The project will assess the status of Wroughton’s wrinkle-lipped bat (Otomops wroughtoni) in Cambodia.

The project team includes Dr Gabor Csorba of the Hungarian Natural History Museum, here seen working with Ith Saveng and Vuthy Vu of the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Increasing in-country capacity and regional co-operation to promote bat conservation in Cambodia with particular reference to Otomops wroughtoni

Host country: Cambodia

Project objective: With 155 species, bats are an important component of the biodiversity of continental South East Asia. They represent some 30% of the region’s mammal species and provide critical economic and ecological ecosystem services as pollinators, seed dispersers and agents of pest control.  Unfortunately, heavy deforestation, human disturbance and unsustainable harvesting for domestic consumption is expected to lead to the extinction of many bat taxa, with upper estimates of regional species losses exceeding 40%.

Research, capacity building, focused conservation initiatives, and outreach activities are all urgently required if the impact of forest loss and hunting on this unique fauna is to be reduced.  This is especially the case in Cambodia, where historically there has been very little bat research but where recent studies are showing the importance of Cambodia as a refuge for new and endemic species.

This project has been designed to achieve two complementary purposes:

  • to assess the status of Otomops wroughtoni (Wroughton’s free-tailed bat) in Cambodia.
  • to increase taxonomic and ecological capacity in bat science in order to promote and facilitate the conservation of all bat biodiversity in Cambodia.

Collaborating institutions:
Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia; Prince of Songkla University in Thailand; Hungarian Natural History Museum; WCS Cambodia, Fauna and Flora International, and the Harrison Institute.

Principal Funder:
CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) - $20,000 of $24050
Harrison Institute contact: Dr Paul Bates – harrisoninstitute@btinternet.com

In-country contact: Mr Ith Saveng, Curator of the Natural History Museum, Department of Environmental Science, Royal University of Phnom Penh – ithsaveng@yahoo.com.mm 

Dates: October, 2009-May, 2011


Ith, S., P. Soisook, S. Bumrungsri, T. Kingston, S.J. Puechmaille, M.J. Struebig, Si Si Hla Bu, V.D. Thong, N.M. Furey, N.M. Thomas, and P.J.J. Bates. 2011. A taxonomic review of Rhinolophophus coelophyllus Peters 1867 and R. shameli Tate 1943 (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) in continental Southeast Asia. Acta Chiropterologica, 13(1): 41-59. [PDF available]

Ith, S., G. Csorba, P.J.J. Bates, N.M. Furey. 2011. Confirmation of seven bat species for Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, 2011(2): 93-103. [PDF available]

Kingsada, P., B. Douangboubpha, S. Ith, N. Furey, P. Soisook, S. Bumrungsri, C. Satasook, V.D. Thong, G. Csorba, D. Harrison, M. Pearch, P. Bates, N. Thomas. 2011. A checklist of bats from Cambodia, including the first record of the intermediate horseshoe bat Rhinolophus affinis (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae), with additional information from Thailand and Vietnam. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, 2011(1): 49-59. [PDF available]