Battambang: Community officials managing the Phnom Sampov Bat Cave said that the collection of bat droppings has dropped by 30 to 40 percent compared to previous years after many bats died.
Mr. Roeun Savon, Head of Bat Cave Management Community in Samnang Village, Phnom Sampov Commune, Banan District, Battambang Province, said that currently the harvest of bat droppings has dropped by 30 to 40% per month from the two caves in Phnom Sampov. The caves yielded about 200 bags of guano, compared to 250 bags or more that were collected in the past.
According to the head of the community, the yield of bat droppings was reduced due to the death of many bats in the two cave caves, the western and eastern caves, which used to have about 1.5 million bats. In just few weeks last April, due to the hot weather and blood sucking bugs, around 30-40% of the colony was lost. He confirmed that the dead bats were found to be bloodless and that the bugs (*maybe ticks or similar parasitic bugs) had bitten and sucked the blood, causing death.
He added that bat manure is a good natural fertilizer and there are customers near and far who use it on all kinds of crops at a price of around 25,000 riel per bag.
The proceeds are distributed to bat collectors, helping the poor in the village to participate in local development and other expenses in the community. KBN