Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monfort Bat Cave

Fruit bats at Monfort Bat Cave

Monfort Bat Cave is the world’s largest colony of Geoffroy’s Rousette Fruit Bats (Rousettus Amplexicaudatus) with an estimated 1.8 million bats living in the five remaining caves of Samal Island, to a density of 645 bats per square meter. This distinction was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bat in the world. The colony is situated in a 23 hectare protected area of the Monfort Eco-Park at Barangay Tambo, Babak District, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte, on a property owned by Norma Monfort.

About 1.8 million of these bats live in caves in Samal Island

A density of 645 bats per square meter

Monfort Bat Cave was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records
 as the biggest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bat in the world

Entrance to the Monfort Bat Colony with the stamp of
the Guinness Book of World Records

There are only 5 remaining caves that are still inhabited by the fruit bats

One of the five remaining caves

There are about seventy caves in the island which used to be inhabited by these fruit bats, but, sad to say, have now remained empty due to irresponsible hunting and destruction of their habitats. Had it not been to the intense conservation efforts of Norma Monfort, the owner of the property and current trustee, together with the support of the residence and the local government of Samal, and in collaboration with several key organizations, the colonies might have been totally destroyed.

Monfort Bat Cave is located Northeast of Samal Island

At the Monfort Bat Colony

Admission Fees to the Sanctuary

Entrance signage 

Another signage leading to the Sanctuary

Pathway to the Sanctuary

View from Monfort Bat Caves

View from one of the caves

Tall palm trees and lush tropical greenery surround the Sancutuary
with the view of Davao Gulf and nearby islands

The bats and their colonies are now under constant protection. And, in June 2006, a Declaration of Understanding was signed by Monfort Conservation Park, Bat Conservation International, and several key organizations such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the local government of the Island Garden City of Samal, Kinaiyahan Foundation, Inc. , Peace Republic, Inc., and the Foundation for the Philippine Environment, to facilitate the long term protection of the colonies.

In January 2007, Norma Monfort, together with a group of local conservationists and Bat Conservation International scientist, Dr. David L. Waldien, established the Philippine Bat Conservation, Inc., a non-governmental organization that facilitates and leads regional conservation of bats and critical habitats through specific action-oriented partnerships, and conducts conservation, research, and education activities at the Monfort Bat Cave which was established to act as a national model for bat conservation and management. 

(L-R) SM City Davao's Brand Manager Jay Madulara, Asst. Mall Manager Cesar Cachero, Philippine Bat Conservation, Inc. Executive Director Norma Monfort, , RPAO-DENR XI Chief  Dr. Rita Fe Sison and EMB-DENR XI Environment  Specialist Engr. Nestor Patnugot after SM hands over the 10 MM sign-ups to DENR XI. Behind is a replica of the Monfort Bat Cave.

Bat Conservation International which Ms. Monfort co-founded
conducts conservation lectures and seminar workshops

The Exhibit

On April 20, 2007, Mrs. Teresita B. Antalan, accompanied by the Honorable City Mayor of Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS), Rogelio Antalan, and assisted by Dr. David Waldien of Bat Conservation International, did the honor of cutting the ribbon during the official opening of Philippine Bat Conservation, Inc,’s outdoor educational exhibit entitled, "The Wonders of Bats". The event was jointly hosted by Philippine Bat Conservation and the Monfort Conservation Park,  and was widely attended by various government and non-government organizations, local barangay officials, and guests from both the business and private sectors. The Exhibit is now a permanent fixture at Monfort Bat Sactuary.  

Information about bats

Eco-Conservation Fair at SM City Davao

The Guinness Book of World Records award to the Monfort Bat Cave as the biggest colony of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bat in the world was given last February 2010. The awarding was the highlight of the Eco-Conservation Fair held at SM City Davao Event Center last April 21 to 22, 2010 under the theme, “Bats Conserve Biodiversity”. The event was in connection with the Earth Day Celebration.

Tau Mu fraternity of the Ateneo de Davao University College of Law organized a fun run called, "Dark Knight Enervon Run" last March 19, 2011 for the benefit of the Monfort Bat Sanctuaty.

Invitation to the Circadian flight of bats at sunset

Circadian flight at sunset

Ms. Norma Monfort is now conducting conservation lectures and seminar workshops together with local experts and members of the Bat Conservation International which Ms. Monfort co-founded. The Philippine Bat Conservation, Inc, is a non-profit organization which aims to conserve and protect the local bat species and their habitat, to provide a place for ecologically safe and responsible bat research, and to educate visitors and the general public through programs about the benefits of bats on the surrounding ecosystems.

Rainforest exists due to these lowly bats

These bats are said to be the main reason on the abundance of Durian fruits in Davao City

Bats are important to the general health and existence of the rainforest: more than 70% of the trees in the rainforest currently exist because bats pollinate, distribute seeds and eat otherwise harmful insect pests. Bats are good pollinators: they pollinate flowers, and spread seeds for fruits, and they are said to be the main reason on the abundance of Durian fruits in Davao City. Bat manure which is known as guano is one of Mother Nature’s most effective natural fertilizers. A kilo of guano is sold at a price of $200!

Become a Bat Sanctuary Volunteer! 

If you’re interested, you may email them at volunteer@batsanctuary.org 

A Bat Sanctuary Volunteer’s activities include:

- Planting trees
- Observing bat colonies
- Teaching conservation workshops
- Working with youth in classroom programs

You may also donate and help their foundation through the Adopt a Bat, the packages include:

- Bat Adoption Certificate
- A tree planted in your name
- Wooden bat plaque that will be hang at the Research Center
- Free admission to the Monfort Conservation Park


$25 - 5×7 Photograph
$50 - 5×7 Photograph and Bat Sanctuary T-shirt
$100 - 5×7 Photograph, Bat Sanctuary T-shirt and Bat House

More Facts About Bats

Bats are the only flying mammals in the World
There are more than 1,100 bat species in the World
The Philippines is home to 26 indigenous bat species – more than any other country
Fruit Bats pollinate the flowering trees and plants of the forests
Bats disperse seeds from fruiting trees far and wide
When bats disperse seeds, they do so with a package of fertilizer for maximum growth potential
Bat manure is one of Mother Nature’s most effective natural fertilizers
One insect eating bat will eat almost its own body weight in mosquitoes and other insects every night!
The Philippines is home to the World’s largest bats – the giant golden-crowned flying fox fruit bat (Acerodon Jubatus)
The Philippines is home to the World’s smallest bats – the Philippine Bamboo Bat (Tylonycteris Pachypus)
The World’s most recent fruit bat species discovery was made in Mindoro Island (2007) – the stripe faced fruit bat (Styloctenium Mindorensis)

Bat Camp Area

How to get to the Monfort Bat Cave and where to stay

The sanctuary is only a few minutes motorcycle ride from Babak pier. The park has a couple of rooms for rent (Php 600/night or about USD$30) for overnight stay. Contact number is +63-84-3031915. There is a camping area right across the park with a great view of the beach and Davao Gulf. There are open cottages for rent too.

Contact Information

Monfort Conservation Park
Barangay Tambo, Babak District
Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte

Tel: (082) 221-8925 and (082)305-8925
Fax: (082) 225-8852
Cell: 0917-705-2228
Email: info@batsanctuary.org
website: www.teaconcepts.net


  1. Same here, brother! Thanks for dropping-in and for your comments. Please follow my blog for fresh posts and updates.

  2. Another great article from Mr Do Battad...!!! keep up the good work ...

    BTW, thanks for following my blog at http://mytravelanywhere.blogpsot.com/

  3. Thank you iwannagotravel, drop-in some more for fresh posts and updates.

  4. is it possible to visit monfort around sunset when the bats fly out? also, are there still boats returning to davao city after sunset, or do all the boats have to be docked at the wharfs by 5pm?


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