Many bat species occur in Indian coffee plantations and despite sporadic reports of damage to commercialcoffee crops, the literature shows little evidence for these claims. Measures that have been proposed to‘control’ fruit bats are likely to be ineffective and even counter-productive. Instead, insect-eating batsshould be encouraged by planters as they help control herbivorous and disease-carrying insects, while fruitbats pollinate flowers and disperse seeds of many useful plants and shade tree species. More research isneeded to quantify any crop damage caused by bats and to look for sustainable solutions where necessary.
Current Science 107: 1958-1960.