Brazilian Journal of Biological Sciences (ISSN 2358-2731)

Home Archive v. 4, No. 7 (2017) Gomes


Vol. 4, No. 7, p. 147-156 - Jun. 30, 2017


Ethnozoology of bats (Mammalia, Chiroptera) in Feira de Santana Municipality, Bahia State, Northeastern Brazil

Maria da Conceição Borges Gomes , Eraldo Medeiros Costa Neto and Martin Roberto del Valle Alvarez

The ethnozoology studies several manifestations of humans on fauna, whether inspired by affection, rejection, contempt or reverence, which are generally based on local beliefs and symbols. Bats stand out amongst those animals that make up the mythopoetic imaginary since ancient times. This paper records how bats are perceived by rural and urban inhabitants of the Municipality of Feira de Santana, Bahia State, Brazil. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews. Two hundred participants were randomly chosen, 100 residents living in rural areas and 100 living in different districts of the municipality. Data were analyzed qualitatively, considering the set of responses provided by all interviewees. The results showed that the lack of information is the main cause of adverse reactions that people have by bats. Most of these reactions are due to lack of knowledge on bats behavior, especially when it comes to their feeding habits, since the majority of the respondents believed that the consumption of blood is the prevalent diet. After each new interview, information about feeding habits, behavior and general medical care to be taken when having contact with bats, were offered to the participants. This study suggests that education is one of the suitable tools to minimize prejudice against bats.

Folk knowledge; Ethnozoology; Perception; Vampire bat.


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