Lek-associated movement of a putative Ebolavirus reservoir, the hammer-headed fruit bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus), in northern Republic of Congo

Autoři: Sarah H. Olson aff001;  Gerard Bounga aff002;  Alain Ondzie aff002;  Trent Bushmaker aff003;  Stephanie N. Seifert aff003;  Eeva Kuisma aff002;  Dylan W. Taylor aff001;  Vincent J. Munster aff003;  Chris Walzer aff001
Působiště autorů: Wildlife Conservation Society, Health Program, Bronx, New York, United States of America aff001;  Wildlife Conservation Society, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo aff002;  Virus Ecology Section, Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, Montana, United States of America aff003;  Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223139


The biology and ecology of Africa’s largest fruit bat remains largely understudied and enigmatic despite at least two highly unusual attributes. The acoustic lek mating behavior of the hammer-headed bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus) in the Congo basin was first described in the 1970s. More recently molecular testing implicated this species and other African bats as potential reservoir hosts for Ebola virus and it was one of only two fruit bat species epidemiologically linked to the 2008 Luebo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ebola outbreak. Here we share findings from the first pilot study of hammer-headed bat movement using GPS tracking and accelerometry units and a small preceding radio-tracking trial at an apparent lekking site. The radio-tracking revealed adult males had high rates of nightly visitation to the site compared to females (only one visit) and that two of six females day-roosted ~100 m west of Libonga, the nearest village that is ~1.6 km southwest. Four months later, in mid-April 2018, five individual bats, comprised of four males and one female, were tracked from two to 306 days, collecting from 67 to 1022 GPS locations. As measured by mean distance to the site and proportion of nightly GPS locations within 1 km of the site (percent visitation), the males were much more closely associated with the site (mean distance 1.4 km; 51% visitation), than the female (mean 5.5 km; 2.2% visitation). Despite the small sample size, our tracking evidence supports our original characterization of the site as a lek, and the lek itself is much more central to male than female movement. Moreover, our pilot demonstrates the technical feasibility of executing future studies on hammer-headed bats that will help fill problematic knowledge gaps about zoonotic spillover risks and the conservation needs of fruit bats across the continent.

Klíčová slova:

Africa – Animal behavior – Data acquisition – Mating behavior – Bats – Fruit bats – Bat flight – Ebola virus


1. Toth CA, Parsons S. Is lek breeding rare in bats? J Zool. 2013;291: 3–11. doi: 10.1111/jzo.12069

2. Bradbury JW. Lek Mating Behavior in the Hammer‐headed Bat. Z Tierpsychol. 1977;45: 225–255. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1977.tb02120.x

3. Bradbury JW. The Evolution of Leks. In: Alexander RD, Tinkle D, editors. Natural Selection and Social Behavior. New York: Chiron Press; 1981. pp. 138–168.

4. Leroy EM, Epelboin A, Mondonge V, Pourrut X, Gonzalez J-P, Muyembe-Tamfum J-J, et al. Human Ebola outbreak resulting from direct exposure to fruit bats in Luebo, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2007. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2009;9: 723–8. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2008.0167 19323614

5. Leroy EM, Kumulungui B, Pourrut X, Rouquet P, Hassanin A, Yaba P, et al. Fruit bats as reservoirs of Ebola virus. Nature. 2005;438: 575–6. doi: 10.1038/438575a 16319873

6. Pourrut X, Délicat a, Rollin PE, Ksiazek TG, Gonzalez J-P, Leroy EM. Spatial and temporal patterns of Zaire ebolavirus antibody prevalence in the possible reservoir bat species. J Infect Dis. 2007;196 Suppl: S176–83. doi: 10.1086/520541 17940947

7. Hayman DTS, Yu M, Crameri G, Wang L-F, Suu-Ire R, Wood JLN, et al. Ebola Virus Antibodies in Fruit Bats, Ghana, West Africa. Emerg Infect Dis. 2012;18: 1207–1209. doi: 10.3201/eid1807.111654 22710257

8. De Nys HM, Kingebeni PM, Keita AK, Butel C, Thaurignac G, Villabona-Arenas C-J, et al. Survey of Ebola Viruses in Frugivorous and Insectivorous Bats in Guinea, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2015–2017. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018;24: 2228–2240. doi: 10.3201/eid2412.180740 30307845

9. Schuh AJ, Amman BR, Sealy TS, Flietstra TD, Guito JC, Nichol ST, et al. Comparative analysis of serologic cross-reactivity using convalescent sera from filovirus-experimentally infected fruit bats. Sci Rep. 2019;9: 6707. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43156-z 31040343

10. Judson SD, Fischer R, Judson A, Munster VJ. Ecological Contexts of Index Cases and Spillover Events of Different Ebolaviruses. PLOS Pathog. 2016;12: e1005780. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005780 27494600

11. Amman BR, Carroll SA, Reed ZD, Sealy TK, Balinandi S, Swanepoel R, et al. Seasonal Pulses of Marburg Virus Circulation in Juvenile Rousettus aegyptiacus Bats Coincide with Periods of Increased Risk of Human Infection. PLoS Pathog. 2012;8. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002877 23055920

12. Hayman DTS. Biannual birth pulses allow filoviruses to persist in bat populations. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci. 2015;282: 20142591–20142591. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2591 25673678

13. Field H, Jordan D, Edson D, Morris S, Melville D, Parry-Jones K, et al. Spatiotemporal Aspects of Hendra Virus Infection in Pteropid Bats (Flying-Foxes) in Eastern Australia. PLoS One. 2015;10: e0144055. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144055 26625128

14. Bausch DG, Schwarz L. Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea: Where Ecology Meets Economy. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014;8: 8–12. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003056 25079231

15. Olivero J, Fa JE, Real R, Márquez AL, Farfán MA, Vargas JM, et al. Recent loss of closed forests is associated with Ebola virus disease outbreaks. Sci Rep. 2017;7. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14727-9 29085050

16. Rulli MC, Santini M, Hayman DTS, D’Odorico P. The nexus between forest fragmentation in Africa and Ebola virus disease outbreaks. Sci Rep. Nature Publishing Group; 2017;7: 41613. doi: 10.1038/srep41613 28195145

17. Wallace RG, Gilbert M, Wallace R, Pittiglio C, Mattioli R, Kock R. Did Ebola emerge in West Africa by a policy-driven phase change in agroecology? Environ Plan A. 2014;46. doi: 10.1068/a4712com

18. Abedi-Lartey M, Dechmann DKN, Wikelski M, Scharf AK, Fahr J. Long-distance seed dispersal by straw-coloured fruit bats varies by season and landscape. Glob Ecol Conserv. Elsevier B.V.; 2016;7: 12–24. doi: 10.1016/j.gecco.2016.03.005

19. Worton BJ. Using Monte Carlo Simulation to Evaluate Kernel-Based Home Range Estimators. J Wildl Manage. [Wiley, Wildlife Society]; 1995;59: 794–800. doi: 10.2307/3801959

20. R Core Team. R: A language and environment for Statistical Computing [Internet]. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing; 2018. Available: https://www.r-project.org/.

21. Tanshi I. Hypsignathus monstrosus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016.

22. Hofman MPG, Hayward MW, Heim M, Marchand P, Rolandsen CM, Mattisson J, et al. Right on track? Performance of satellite telemetry in terrestrial wildlife research. PLoS One. 2019;14: e0216223. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216223 31071155

23. Teague O’Mara M, Wikelski M, Dechmann DKN. 50 years of bat tracking: Device attachment and future directions. Methods Ecol Evol. 2014;5: 311–319. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12172

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10