WHY ARE FRUIT BATS IMPORTANT ?
Bats are important seed dispersers and pollinators. Fruit bats eat fruits and they distribute the seeds of those fruits across the forest when they defecate in-flight. Moreover, bats drink nectar from flowers. As they fly from one flower to the other, they help pollinate these flowers thanks to the pollen trapped on the fur of their faces.
HOW IT AFFECTS HUMANS?
As such, bats help the forest to regenerate. In turn, a healthy forest maintains a healthy soil, stores water and carbon and stabilizes microclimates.
In addition, local communities often harvest the fruits and medicinal plants from trees that germinated as a result of the seeds dispersed by fruit bats.
WHAT IF FRUIT BATS DISAPPEARED?
Without bats, forests would not regenerate through these two important mechanisms. Certain tree species that rely on bats for dispersal of seeds would have restricted range or may eventually die out. This is particularly true on island ecosystems where sometimes fruit bats are the only large seed dispersing species.