Kitti’s hog-nosed bat or bumblebee bat is the world’s smallest mammal and the world’s smallest bat. Weighing just 1.7-2.0 gms, with a head-to-body length of 1.14-1.29 inches and a wingspan of 5.1-5.7 inches, the bat is found only in a select few limestone caves on Khwae Noi River in Kanchanaburi Province of southwest Thailand.

The population of the bats is very small and the slow reproduction of the species can form a problem in the future. Females of the Bumblebee bats are giving birth just once a year during the summer in April. For a long time their recently born youngster will stay attached to the belly of its mom. It takes quite some time before the wings of the super tiny bat are well-enough developed to fly. The slow reproduction of the spices can become a threat for the future as places were (and still are) disturbed by scientists, tourists, monks and new developments like the deforestation and a new pipeline being built from Thailand to Myanmar. However it is hard to tell to which extend these developments will affect the population of the species. Many caves – inhabited by the Bumblebee bat – are hard to access; therefore it is difficult to estimate their total population.

Not like other bat species, these bats are only seen in very small groups of sometimes just 10 bats. Larger groups are consisting of 100 to max. 500 Bumblebee bats. The bats are to be found in limestone caves mostly located close to the river, as it provides the tiny bats with many insects. They are also living in the forests but it is very difficult to spot them there. So-far the tiny bat is spotted in Kanchanaburi, the West of Thailand and since 2001 the bat is also discovered in a Southeast region of Myanmar. In Thailand’s Bumblebee bats are living in the caves along the river Kwai and in the Sai Yok National Park. If you want to see this little guy you may be lucky at the Lawa Cave near the river Kwai. Close by accommodations are the River Kwai Resotel (a stylish bungalow resort) or the Float House (luxurious floating on the river Kwai).

Credit : River Kwai Resotel 

Picture Credit : Google 

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