Information about Bats in Phnom Sampeu Mountain
This cave is one of the three at Phnom Sampov that contain colonies of over one million Asian wrinkle – lipped bats (Chaerephon plicatus). Only 13 colonies of the species are known in Cambodia. These are thought to support over 6. 5 million bats in total and the colonies at Sampeu are among the largest in the country. Wrinkle – lipped bats fly up to 50 km from their roosts each night to hunt insects. These include serious agricultural pests like plant – hoppers that can destroy up to 60% of the rice harvest. As each bat eats 50 – 100% of its own weight (about 15 grams) every night, the colonies in Cambodia likely prevent the loss of over 2, 000 tons of rice a year. This equals enough rice to feed over 21, 000 Cambodians annually. Large colonies of wrinkle-lipped bats are increasing rare in Southeast Asia due to hunting and mining of the limestone hills where they live. It is illegal to hunt, harm or harass wildlife under Cambodian law. Please do not disturb the bats (this includes throwing objects, making loud noises, or using flash photography) so that the people of Battambang can continue to benefit from the important ecological services they provide.