Hunting bats for bushmeat despite Nipah concerns in Idukki, Kerala, India
Keywords:Bushmeat, fruit bats, Nipah outbreak, exploratory survey
Bat population throughout the world is in peril due to habitat disruption, climate change and emerging infectious diseases. It is apparent from recent zoonotic disease outbreaks in Africa and Indian subcontinent that consumption of bat bushmeat is risky. Conversely, the present explorative study conducted in Kerala post-Nipah outbreak showed that there is no decline and significant difference in the number of people consuming bat bushmeat during pre and post-Nipah outbreak. This study urges the importance of active participation of policy makers to create awareness about the risk of consuming fruit bats and ecosystem role played by among the people to avoid mass killing of bats. This could be helpful for the conservation of bats as well as to prevent the risk of getting bat borne infection through bushmeat consumption.
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