Rare bat population given 'manicures' so numbers can be counted
A group of one of the world’s rarest bats is being treated to pampering sessions, as experts use nail varnish to count their numbers.
Cuban greater funnel-eared bats are being given manicures as scientists try to measure how many of them still exist.
The creatures are confined to a cave in Western Cuba and in urgent need of conservation attention, international charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) said.
Less than 750 of the bats remain in a single cave on the peninsula of Guanahacabibes, the preliminary results from the species’ first population estimates by ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme revealed.
Needing to identify individual bats, the researchers employed a low-tech but effective method for harmlessly marking the bats.
They used four different nail varnish colours to paint the bats’ “nails”, enabling them to create thousands of combinations for unique markings to identify each one.
A fearless octogenarian celebrated turning 80 by skydiving at 10,000ft – justmonths after an earlier attempt resulted in her making an emergency jumpfollowing a mayday call. Known for marking landmark birthdays with bigadventures, widow Ann Maskell, travelled solo to Australia and took a hot airballoon ride on her 55th, went to Cuba on her 75th and was determined that her80th in November 2019 would be unforgettable. But the retired restaurateur, ofBude, north Cornwall, had not bargained for quite the degree of excitement instore, when she set off from nearby Perranporth – only for the plane, a Cessna206 – to start losing power at 4,000ft. She said: “I heard the pilot shouting,‘Mayday, mayday,’ then my instructor tapped me on the shoulder and explainedthat the plane was losing power and, to conserve fuel, so it could be safelylanded, we would need to evacuate. “It was losing height, so we had to jumpout at 4,000ft instead of 10,000ft. “It all happened so quickly that therewasn’t much time to think about what was going on. I didn’t feel frightened orworried, I was just excited!”
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 02:46Published
Amid the stormy weather of the political landscape, Gulf Coast residents need to pay close attention to the actual weather in the coming days. That's because not one, but two tropical systems could make landfall in the coming days. CNN reports the first system to watch out for is Tropical Storm Laura, which is currently making its way over Puerto Rico. It's expected to move northwest toward Hispaniola and Cuba over the next few days.
Cuba reported a record 93 cases of the new coronavirus on Monday as a surge of the disease in the Havana area threatened to stall the re-opening of the country after a partial lockdown beginning in March. Gavino Garay has more.