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Megaderma spasma

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA MEGADERMATIDAE

Scientific Name: Megaderma spasma
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Lesser False Vampire, Common Asian Ghost Bat, Lesser False Vampire Bat
Synonym(s):
Megaderma horsfieldii Blyth, 1863
Vespertilio spasma Linnaeus, 1758

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Csorba, G., Bumrungsri, S., Helgen, K., Francis, C., Bates, P., Gumal, M., Kingston, T., Heaney, L., Balete, D., Esselstyn, J., Molur, S. & Srinivasulu, C.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern because of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to secondary forest, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is very widely distributed over much of South Asia and Southeast Asia. In South Asia, it is predominantly distributed in the Western Ghats and northeastern parts of India, and in Sri Lanka. It is known from Bangladesh (Khulna division), India (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal) and Sri Lanka (Eastern, Southern and Western provinces) (Molur et al. 2002) In Southeast Asia, it ranges throughout virtually the entire mainland, and most of insular Southeast Asia, including the major islands of Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Halmahera (all to Indonesia), Borneo (Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia), and throughout Philippines except for the Batanes/Babuyan region. There are records in the Philippines for Biliran, Bohol, Busuanga, Catanduanes, Cebu, Dinagat, Leyte, Luzon (Abra [Lawrence 1939)], Aurora, Camarines Sur, Isabela, Laguna Province [Taylor 1934; Ingle 1992], Rizal provinces), Mindanao (Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental [Sanborn 1952], Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, South Cotabato, Zamboanga del Sur provinces), Mindoro, Negros, Palawan, Panay, Polillo, Siquijor (Heaney et al. 1998). In South Asia this species has been recorded up to an elevation of 1,600 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Bangladesh; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a common species in South Asia. In the Philippines, the species is widespread and locally common to uncommon in primary and secondary forest (Heaney et al. 1998). It is always encountered in small groups, though sometimes cumulative numbers are in the hundreds (L. Heaney, Esselstyn, and Balete pers. comm. 2006).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In South Asia, this species is found in humid areas and dense tropical moist forest. It roosts in small colonies in caves, old and disused buildings, temples, lofts of thatched huts, tiled roofs, hollows in large trees and disused mines (Molur et al. 2002). It has a low and fast flight and feeds on Lepidopterans, coleopterans, hymenopterans and other insects but does not feed on vertebrates. One young is born between April to the month of June (Bates and Harrision 1997). Rarely occurs in the same location with M. lyra. Individuals hang separately until disturbed, when they huddle together (S. Molur pers. obs.). In the Philippines, it is found in lowland primary and secondary forest (Heaney et al. 1991). Known to roost in caves, tree-hollows, and hollow logs (Taylor 1934; Lawrence 1939; Rabor 1986; Ingle 1992; Rickart et al. 1993; Lepiten 1995). On Palawan, the species occurs in bamboo thickets, secondary forest, and primary forest (Esselstyn et al. 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Over much of the species range there are no major threats to populations as a whole. In Southeast Asia, there are localized threats to caves, especially due to guano mining and limestone quarrying. In South Asia, the primary forest habitats of this species are under threat, usually deforested for timber, firewood and agricultural purposes (Molur et al. 2002). Roosts in large hollow trees and old buildings are under threat due to human interference from being cut down or broken down or cleaned up. Populations in some areas are also under threat from being exploited for medicinal purposes where the bat oil is used for massaging ailing newborns and infants (S. Molur pers. obs.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In South Asia, there are no direct conservation measures in place, however, the species may occur in many protected areas, but the few protected areas it has currently been recorded from include Tadoba Tiger Reserve, Melghat Tiger Reserve, Pench National Park in Maharashtra and Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal. It is presumably present within a number of protected areas in Southeast Asia. In South Asia, further studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, reproduction and ecology of this species. Populations should be monitored to record changes in abundance and distribution. Habitat maintenance, conservation and restoration are needed. Public awareness activities are needed to mitigate threats to this taxon (Molur et al. 2002).

Citation: Csorba, G., Bumrungsri, S., Helgen, K., Francis, C., Bates, P., Gumal, M., Kingston, T., Heaney, L., Balete, D., Esselstyn, J., Molur, S. & Srinivasulu, C. 2008. Megaderma spasma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 August 2014.
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