Cattle attacked by Vampire Bats

Common Vampire bat

Common Vampire bat

Vampire bats in Latin America are turning to cattle for their staple diet of blood, due to deforestation of their natural prays habitat.

Most forest clearing in South and Central America is for cattle grazing, and as a result, bats numbers have grown to take advantage of the larger prey.

Scientists have said said studies in area of deforestation where there are few or now farms say bat number have stayed the same, but in areas where there are lots of cattle grazing, the numbers have gone up sharply in resent years.

But the problem with the growing number of cattle farms now encroaching on the bats natural environment has also meant a rise in numbers of Rabies related diseases. In 2005 a staggering 1,500 people were treated for rabies and bat bites in just two months, and 23 people died as a result of the disease.

The only option is to try and better manage the bats natural habitat through conservation, along with efforts to reduce wildlife poaching scientist said, which will minimise the overall impact of vampire bats and their late-night raids!

National Geographic [link] Wikipedia [link]

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