chewbacca bat, Triaenops persicus (2)

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Habitat: southwestern Pakistan, southern Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen, Mozambique
Status: Data Deficient

[Insert Star Wars theme song here] In the farthest reaches of Mozambique, scientists have just discovered the incredible… Chewbacca Bat (Triaenops persicus)!

That’s right all my nerds and nerdettes out there. This chewie look-alike was just found by a team of 15 Mozambican and international scientists, led by Piotr Naskrecki, who spent 3 weeks in the Cheringoma Plateau of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. The scientists’ mission was to collect and record info on the species of this region to help park managers understand and protect Gorongosa’s biodiversity. (source) Little did they know they’d be coming across this completely out-of-this-world creature!

This was the first comprehensive biodiversity survey in the history of this 4,000sqkm  protected area. We should all be very grateful to these scientists for their outstanding work in identifying species new to science – one’s that are desperately in need of our conservation efforts.

chewbacca bat, Triaenops persicus (1)

photo: Piotr Naskrecki