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Hipposideros vittatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA HIPPOSIDERIDAE

Scientific Name: Hipposideros vittatus
Species Authority: (Peters, 1852)
Common Name(s):
English Commerson's Leafnosed Bat, Commerson's Roundleaf Bat, Commerson's Rhinolph, Giant Leaf-nosed Bat
Synonym(s):
Hipposideros marungensis Noack, 1887
Taxonomic Notes: Formerly included within Hipposideros commersoni (now recognized as being endemic to Madagascar). Some West African specimens identified as Hipposideros gigas may represent Hipposideros vittatus (J. Fahr pers. comm.). The taxonomic relationship between Hipposideros curtus and H. vittatus is unclear and needs further investigation.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Bergmans, W. & Cotterill, F.P.D.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Near Threatened because, although the species is still widely distributed, presumably a large proportion of the global population of this species is found as a few very large cave roosting colonies, that are threatened by disturbance, habitat loss and over hunting. It is likely that the species is undergoing significant declines at these sites, however, the global population as a whole is probably declining at <30% over a ten year period. Almost qualifies for listing as threatened under criterion A. Further studies of the status of this species may indicate that it should be reassessed as Least Concern, however, it is precautionary retained here as Near Threatened pending further information.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has mainly been recorded from East Africa and southern Africa with some scattered records from West Africa and Central Africa. In East Africa the species ranges from Ethiopia and Somalia in the north, through Kenya and Tanzania to Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. In southern Africa it has been recorded in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and marginally in northeastern South Africa. In Central Africa there are patchy records from Angola, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic. In West Africa the species currently appears to limited to a few records from Nigeria and Conakry in Guinea. It has been recorded from around sea level to 1,700 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Central African Republic; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Ethiopia; Guinea; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Somalia; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is known to exist as a few large ancestral roosts, containing tens of thousands of individuals which seasonally migrate considerable distances.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species has been recorded from a variety of habitat types. In East and southern Africa it seems to be largely associated with savanna woodland habitats (Skinner and Chimimba 2005), whereas in West Africa it is possible that the species has additionally been recorded from lowland tropical moist forest, secondary forest and riverine forest (Happold 1987). The species can occur locally in very large numbers (thousands of individuals) where suitable cave habitats are available, however, animals have been recorded (presumably in considerably smaller numbers) roosting in tree canopies, hollow trees and dense vegetation (Happold 1987; Skinner and Chimimba 2005). This bat has been recorded flying among and within buildings, and roosting under the eaves of buildings (Skinner and Chimimba 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species' fat is used in the manufacture of candles for local use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In view of the species wide distribution, there might not be any major threats to the species as a whole. However, a number of the major colonies are threatened by the mining of limestone caves, disturbance by tourists, and subsistence overhunting, particular for the use of their fat for making candles (this species stores particularly large amounts of fat in its body [Churchill et al. 1997]).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is possible that this species is present in a number of protected areas in East Africa; it has been recorded from Tsavo National Park in Kenya. In southern Africa it has been recorded from the Kruger National Park in Limpopo Province, South Africa. There is a need to protect important roosting sites of this species, and to limit collection of animals to sustainable levels. Additional studies are needed into the identity of populations currently allocated to Hipposideros vittatus.

Citation: Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Bergmans, W. & Cotterill, F.P.D. 2008. Hipposideros vittatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 October 2014.
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