Features

Have horseshoe-shaped features on their face called noseleafs

Diet

Insectivorous; eats insects

Habitat

Caves in intact montane forests in Rwanda.

Hill’s horseshoe bats are only known to occur in Nyungwe National Park, an important protected area for many Central African bird, mammal, and primate species.

We are working with African partners to re-discover this rare species of bat which hasn’t been seen since 1981.

Recover remaining Hill’s horseshoe bat populations in Central Africa

Common Name
Hill’s Horseshoe Bat
Scientific Name
Rhinolophus Hilli
Status
Critically Endangered
Location
Rwanda

Project Details

The critically endangered Hill’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hilli) has not been seen since 1981. The scientific and conservation community lacks basic knowledge about the species, such as where it roosts, population status, foraging habitat and behavior, and whether it can persist in degraded forests. We will determine the status of the critically endangered Hill’s horseshoe bat in Rwanda and develop a conservation management plan to protect bats in Nyungwe National Park. Our team will carry out extensive surveys of Nyungwe National Park and produce the first georeferenced database for caves. Morphological and genetic methods will help us verify the presence of Hill’s horseshoe bat in the park.

 
Rwandan field site
Winifred Frick

Research

  • Conduct surveys within Nyungwe National Park to produce the first georeferenced database for caves to better understand potential roosting habitat
  • Identify bat species composition of Nyungwe National Park, including collecting acoustic recordings of echolocation calls and genetic samples
  • Determine potential threats to Hill’s horseshoe bat populations
  • Identify key foraging habitat and diet of the Hill’s horseshoe bat
 
Horseshoe bat captured during survey
Jon Flanders

Population Monitoring

  • Conduct counts of bats at cave roosts to gather more information about how many bats of this species exist
  • Train Nyungwe park rangers to carry out acoustic monitoring of bats in the park as part of ongoing monitoring efforts
 
Acoustic analysis in the field
Winifred Frick

Local Involvement

  • Work with the Rwanda Development Board, Nyungwe park rangers, African scientists, and local Rwandan conservation NGOs to recognize threats to the bats and identify opportunities to continue to protect them
  • Work with Park Rangers to address land management concerns near suspected roosting sites

Key Collaborators