New species of "panda bat" discovered in South Sudan

Posted by Kati Auld on 11 April 2013

The natural world holds many surprises: a bat has recently been discovered in South Sudan which is not only a new species, but a new genus.

‘It was clearly a very extraordinary animal, one that I had never seen before – I knew the second I saw it that it was the find of a lifetime,’ says DeeAnn Reeder, associate professor of Biology at Bucknell University. She’d been exploring in the Bangangai Game Reserve when she spotted the unique creature.

‘My attention was immediately drawn to the bat’s strikingly beautiful and distinct pattern of spots and stripes,’ she said. Reeder had been exploring thanks to a grant from the Woodtiger Fund, and will continue her work in South Sudan with help from the Flora and Fauna International Programme and the Islamic University of Uganda.

The bat has mostly caught the world’s attention because its colouring pattern is similar to that of a panda: do you see the resemblance?

DeeAnn-Reeder-panda-bat new discovery South Sudan DeeAnn-Reeder-panda-bat new discovery South Sudan

Let’s hope that this discovery encourages tourists and locals alike to take care of forests and the treasure that might lurk within them. Ain’t nature wonderful?


All photos ©  DeeAnn Reeder, Bucknell University

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