The Bat Interest Group of KwaZulu-Natal, formerly the Durban Bat Interest Group and commonly known as Bats KZN, was started in 1994 and is the oldest bat group in Southern Africa. Run entirely by volunteers and funded by subscriptions and donations from members of the public, the group aims to conserve the bats of KwaZulu-Natal through education and research.
Active "bat workers" undertake hundreds of activities every year including talks and courses, advising homeowners on how to deal with bats on their properties, monitoring of bat roosts, scientific surveys, and rehabilitation of injured bats.Join Us
The mastiff bat (Otomops martiensseni) is a member of the Free-tailed bat family and shares the same key identification features, They are unmistakable in appearance with their large ears that protrude over the snout and their beautiful leaf—like colouration. Like many other free-tailed bats, they have been listed as urban exploiters and have adapted to city life by roosting in roofs and taking advantage of high moth activity at well-lit stadiums.
Otomops are listed as near threatened in the ICUN red list and as vulnerable in the South African NEMBA biodiversity act. They roost in small numbers of 10 to 30 bats and are under threat of local extinction due to roost disturbance. With an estimated population of only 330 – 990 individuals, they can be found along the coastline of KwaZulu-Natal from Ballito to Southbroom with a few isolated roosts found inland, but this is very rare. However, they have recently been found in small numbers in Kruger and Mapungubwe National Park. Could this mean we may see more of them in the future?Learn about more species