The Bats, the Cave and the Sanctuary
|Monfront Bat Sanctuary: The largest colony of Geoffroy’s Rousette fruit bats in the whole world|
The known specie of bats that are thriving in this 57 – acre land of Ms. Monfort, is the Geoffroy’s Rousette fruit bats, and is known to have the largest colony of bats in the whole world. They are very well preserved because of its importance in the ecosystem, considering they account 70% of the trees in the rainforest live because of bats. They pollinate flowers, eat harmful pests and distribute seeds. This is one of the reasons why Davao City is abundant with Durian fruites. The number of bats accounted during an expedition in this area was 1.8 million, and that was still in counting since there were also female bats noted to be pregnant. So in account, probably it’ll reach to a roughly 2.5 million bats in Monfort Bat Sanctuary! Quite numerous, right?
It is not unknown that Samal Island is continuosly developing and this doesn’t stop these bats from propagating. Bat caves in Monfort Bat Sanctuary are all underground and surrounded by the roots of the trees. No one is allowed to enter the caves but you can peek through the bamboo railings within the caves.
|Entrance to Monfront Bat Sanctuary photos from: http://lantaw.blogspot.com/2009/10/samal-monfort-bat-cave.html|
There are probably a hundred or more visitors in this sanctuary, but before you can proceed to the caves, you are yet to attend a brief orientation regarding the bats, the do’s and the don’ts. After the orientation, you will start on with the sight-seeing. As you approach these openings, you will smell the strong odor of ammonia/musk. This is what is known as the guano, a great natural fertilizer. You won’t see bats roaming around during the day, as we all know, they are nocturnal animals. You can see them through the caves, just flying around or goofing around, probably fighting over a space.
The Monfort Bat Sanctuary nestles near Samal Island. You can get through here via hired car/van or may opt to ride the bus heading to Samal, of which you can ride from Magsaysay Park, Davao City. These carriages will be carried through the barge. As you arrive in Samal, there are single motorcycles or known as habal-habal to take you to this sanctuary.