Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bats of Haiti

This fall 2011 in Haiti I will start teaching about bats in addition to birds. There are 15 extant and 2 extinct species of bats in Haiti. I’m not finding much information about them, so am using this post to keep track of what I do find. If you have any suggestions please post a comment! Wordless resources or those in French or Creole would be most useful. I would especially like to find inexpensive prints of this poster (or donations of them) -

Caribbean conservation groups

Bat Conservation International -

Cayman Wildlife Connection -

Anecdotal information
  • The Haitians have many names for bats, all a variation of chovsourit which literally means old mouse. Many people believe that old mice metamorphose into bats. Variations – chòchòl, chovsourit, chatsouri, chatsourit, chichòt, chòdchòd, chòdchòt, chòfsourit, chòtchòt, chouchòl, chouchwòl, chòvsouri, chòvsourit, chwètchwèt, sovsouri, tchotchorit, tchòtchòt (Freeman Haitian-English Dictionary 2011). Baby bats would be called 'ti chòchòl' or 'pitit chòchòl' to emphasize that it is the offspring of the bats.
  • I think some of the Haitians thought the cave swallows (irondel) were bats.
  • Here’s a photo of man who collects and sells bat guano from a nearby cave that he owns.

Educational materials


Klingener, D.K., H.H. Genoways, and R.J. Baker. 1978. Bats from Southern Haiti. Annals of Carnegie Museum. 47:88–99.

Woods & Ottenwalder 1992. The Natural History of Southern Haiti. FL Museum of Nat. History., Univ. FL.