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Strange Tails

We're delighted to have a strong population of strange-tailed tyrants at the reserve. So much so that we've adopted these beautiful and endangered birds as the symbol of the Trust

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We need your help to provide a safe, sustainable environment for these irreplaceable and seriously threatened animals. Your donations - however small - are very welcome indeed, and if you can volunteer useful skills then we'd love to hear from you!

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Common Vampire Bat

Common Vampire Bat

Desmodus rotundus

Desmodus rotundus is fairly common at Reserva Don Luis and we sometime catch it in our nets if they are placed close to the ground.  It is a member of the family Phyllostomidae and is sangivorous (consumes blood).  Its common name is Common Vampire Bat.

They usually roost in tree holes in a small colony and at nightfall seek out large mammals such as cattle from which to extract blood.  They make a tiny incision with their razor sharp incisors and inject an anti-coagulant to make the blood flow.  They then lap a small amount of this blood - around 2mm and the host mammal does not usually feel anything.  They are associated with rabies, although only around 0.5% carry this virus, and as such are hated by cattle ranchers.

It is a large muscular bat of around 50g, pale brown/grey in colour with a long thumb that has three pads on it.  Its ears are short and well seperated and it does not have a tail, only a small, narrow uropatagium.  It is similar to Diamus youngii but can be distinguished by the lack of a white-wing tip and the fact that it has three thumb pads instead of two.

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