The Bats of Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, and How They Could Benefit You

by Captain Bill

Long-nosed bats in Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve

The Bats of Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, and How They Could Benefit You

Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve is home to the 2nd highest density of bat species in Peru. Of the 65 species captured and identified, 28 percent are fruit eaters and 26 percent are insectivores.

The report I read was incomplete and caused me to speculate on the other 11 species that are presumably divided into nectar eating pollinator bats and fish eating bats, probably in that order of distribution.

The number of bat species is another of the many indicators of the mega bio-diversity found in the Reserva Nacional Allpahuayo-Mishana. Bats pollinate orchids, control insect populations, and disperse seeds.

The Short-tailed Fruit bat is the most common bat in Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve. The Short-tailed bat will eat 30 different fruit species but prefers Piper and Cecropia. They ingest the seeds with the fruit, but the seeds are usually not digested and are excreted, ready to germinate. One colony of Short-tailed bats, might account for over 100,000 new seedlings per year, making them one of the most important species for regenerating disturbed rainforest.

The Nanay River area of Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve has few mosquitoes

Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve and the area upstream of the reserve on the Nanay River has the fewest mosquitoes of any place I have explored in the Amazon Rainforest. Part of the reason is the water in the lakes and rivers is very “acidic”. The rainwater that collects in bromeliad cups, indentations in trees, and hollow logs is “sweet” and provides ample breeding areas to generate a large mosquito population, but the 25 species of insect eating bats help keep the mosquito population at a minimum.

On many tours and cruises up the Nanay River into Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve and beyond, I have slept out comfortably with no mosquito net. To put that in perspective, every time I have slept out without a mosquito net in any other part of the Amazon Rainforest I spent fairly miserable nights under extreme circumstances.

My smaller Amazon adventure cruise boat, Dawn on the Amazon I, does not have screened in areas. I usually recommend my Dawn I guests go into Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve. The Nanay River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the upper Amazon watershed, a protected, rare, white sand forest famous with bird watchers. Enjoying your Amazon adventure is a lot easier without mosquitoes pestering you.

Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve is a hotspot of biodiversity that deserves protection at the highest possible level

I agree completely with the conclusion of the research in the report, “Bats of the Reserva Nacional Allpahuayo-Mishana, northeastern Peru.”

“Although the Reserva Nacional Allpahuayo-Mishana enjoys a relatively high protected status, this has yet to be translated into sustained conservation. As a hotspot of biodiversity in Peru, it deserves protection at the highest possible level.”

In a future post I will propose what I consider to be “protection at the highest possible level”.

The Bats of Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, and How They Could Benefit You

Bill Grimes, Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises

Photos of our Expedition Through Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve

Photos I took while Bird Watching Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve

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