Krishnapur Bat Caves: Drive on rough jungle track to Krishnapur, a small village deep in the interior. From Krishnapur it is a 25-minute trek to the caves that house thousands of bats. The terrain is steep with thick jungle the trek is rather strenuous and you
need to be reasonably fit. The caves and the bats are an amazing sight. Good walking shoes are absolutely necessary, it can be very mucky.
Bats Caves at Talevadi: Take the opportunity to visit the cave at Talevadi, home to Wroughton's Free-tailed bat. The only place in the world that you will find them [ There is a foraging record of a single specimen from Meghalaya (North-Eeastern India) collected in 2001 ].
Wroughton's free-tailed bat
The Wroughton's free-tailed bat (Otomops wroughtoni) is a free-tailed bat formerly considered to be confined to the Western Ghats area of India, though it has also recently been discovered in Northeast India and in a remote part of Cambodia. It was listed as a critically endangered species due to habitat loss and a restricted range.
Wroughton's Free-tailed Bat photographed from North Karnataka by
In India, the species is found in two locations in the southern Indian state of Karnataka and in Meghalaya in Northeast India. In Karnataka, it is found in the Barapede Caves, located between Krishnapur and Talewadi, in Belgaum district, adjacent to the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary near the state of Goa. In Meghalaya, it was recently discovered in a cave near Nongrai village, Shella confederacy. Their habitat is threatened by limestone miners, timber contractors and the cave could be submerged if a nearby Mahadeyi river were dammed for a hydroelectric plant as proposed by the Karnataka Government.
There is a foraging record of a single specimen from Meghalaya (North-Eeastern India) collected in 2001. Since then there is no record of sighting and/or collection of this species from that locality in Meghalaya in North-Eeastern India. Therefore the distributional record of this species from Meghalaya needs confirmation and authentication. On the other hand, the sighting of the colony/collection records of this species were reported at different times by Topal and Ramkrishna (1980), Bates (1992), Mistry and Parab (2001), Ramakrina and Pradhan (2003). Pending further confirmation and authentication of the distribution of this species from Meghalaya in North-Eeastern India, the distribution of Otomops wroughtoni in India should be restricted to a single locality record from Karnataka state.
It is in Belgaum District, which is on the boarder with Goa. It is located 45 kms from the city of Belgaum. Nearest town is Khanapur located 18 kms away from here and 28 kms away from Belgaum.
Road : Belgaum is connected by road via the National Highways 4 (connecting Maharashtra[ Now part of the Golden Quadrilateral], Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) and 4A (connecting Karnataka and Goa).
Air : Belgaum is directly connected with Bangalore , Goa, Mumbai, Miraj and Kolhapur . The airport currently serving the city is Belgaum Airport . Schedules have been erratic, as the air connectivity is primarily provided by feeder airlines.
Rail : Belgaum is on the main Indian Railways grid being part of Hubli Division and is well connected by rail to major destinations such as Bangalore (via Hubli), Mumbai (via Miraj) and Goa .
When to go:-
Any time year round, except during the height of the monsoons during the months of July and August.
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