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Aethalops aequalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Aethalops aequalis
Species Authority: G.M. Allen, 1938
Common Name(s):
English Borneo Fruit Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Considered a subspecies of alecto by many authors, but Kitchener et al. (2000) elevated it to full species status, which could indicate that the Javan subspecies A. a ocypete and the Sumatran/Malayan subspecies A. a. alecto are also distinct species, especially as these are montane species. Genetic data using 12S RNA gene showed a rather high genetic distance between Aethalops aequalis from Malaysian Borneo and A. aequalis of Kalimantan (3.5-8%), and between A. aequalis (Borneo) and A. alecto (Lombok, Bali, Sumatra, Java) ranging from 5.4-12.1% (Maharadatunkamsi and Syamsul Arifin Zein 2006, R. Chaya, pers. comm. 2012). Further study is needed to resolve taxonomic uncertainty.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-12-16
Assessor(s): Jayaraj, J.V.K., Struebig, M. & Tingga, R.C.T.
Reviewer(s): Mildenstein, T.
Contributor(s): Bates, P., Francis, C, Kingston, T. & Maryanto, I.
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern as the species has a relatively wide range and is common in hill forests. However, it may be undergoing some localized declines in parts of its range, due mainly to habitat loss.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in Borneo and has been recorded in Sabah (Mt. Kinabalu 1,833 m), several highlands in Sarawak (Jayaraj et al. 2006, Jayaraj et al. 2011), Brunei, and it occurs in Kayan Mentarang National Park (Puri 1997, I. Maryanto pers. comm.), and several other protected areas in Kalimantan (Indonesia). Has been recorded as low as approximately 550 m asl at Mount Mulu, 845 m asl at Mount Pueh, and 746 m asl at Mount Penrissen.

Countries occurrence:
Native:
Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia; Malaysia
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):550
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is confined to montane and submontane forests and is generally caught in low numbers.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species occurs in montane and submontane  forest. It is often netted along the forest trails and also forest edges (R. Chaya pers. comm. 2012) and also near wild banana plants (Jayaraj pers. comm. 2015). For populations in Malaysian Borneo, most females were found to be pregnant from September to November (R. Chaya pers. comm. 2012).
Systems:Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Deforestation at montane and submontane forests in Sabah and Sarawak is one of the major reasons for the decline of A. aequalis populations (R. Chaya pers. comm. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This bat is protected under two pieces of legislation in Malaysia: Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 and Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.
 
Urgent conservation action is required as this bat is under threat due to deforestation. Highlands such as Kelabit highlands, Mt. Penrissen, Mt. Pueh, and Mt. Murud of Sarawak are not gazetted as protected areas. (R. Chaya pers. comm. 2012).

Research needs
The taxonomic uncertainty in Aethalops needs to be resolved as Studies are needed on the population sizes, distribution, and extent of occurrence throughout its range. Ecological Niche Modelling would provide baseline expected area of occupancy. Monitoring of population sizes and locations over time are also important to establish whether these are stable or experiencing trends of decline.

The threats to these bats are poorly understood. Studies are needed on the species’ habitat requirements and on the effects of forest loss and degradation on the species’ population sizes/distribution.

Citation: Jayaraj, J.V.K., Struebig, M. & Tingga, R.C.T. 2016. Aethalops aequalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136541A21977630. . Downloaded on 09 December 2016.
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