Eonycteris robusta 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Eonycteris robusta Miller, 1913
Common Name(s):
English Philippine Dawn Bat, Philippine Nectar Bat

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Ong, P., Rosell-Ambal, G., Tabaranza, B., Walston, J., Balete, D., Alcala, E., Reizl, J.C., Ramayla, S., Sedlock, J., Gomez, R., Gonzalez, J.C., Ingle, N. & Heaney, L.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Stuart, S.N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is probably in significant decline (but probably at a rate of less than 30% over three generations) because of widespread habitat loss, and perhaps hunting, through much of its range, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable under criterion A4cd.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Philippines dawn bat is endemic to the Philippines, where it has been recorded from most large islands except the Palawan Faunal Region and the Batanes and Babuyan group of islands. It has been recorded from Biliran, Bohol (R. Pamaong pers. comm. 2006), Catanduanes, Leyte, Lubang, Luzon (Abra, Aurora, Cavite, Mountain and Rizal provinces), Marinduque, Maripipi, Mindanao (Bukidnon, Cotabatao, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur provinces), Negros, Polillo, Samar and Siargo islands (Gomez in litt. 2007; J.C. Gonzalez pers. comm. 2006) and has an elevational range from sea level to 1,100 m. However, most specimens of the dawn bat are from the lowlands; in Luzon it has never been taken from high elevations.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is likely to have undergone a significant decline since the 1960s (L. Heaney pers. comm. 2006) evidenced by it being captured only rarely in the 1980s and 1990s and it was reported as likely to be quite rare during the 1990s (Heaney et al. 1991, 1998; Mickleburgh et al. 1992; Utzurrum 1992). However, in the past, Eonycteris robusta was commonly misidentified as E. spelaea or R. amplexicaudatus (L. Heaney pers. comm. 2006) and the some of the reports of rarity may be attributable to this. It can be easily distinguished by field characters described by Ingle and Heaney (1992).

E. robusta was not captured in surveys of many forested areas with lowland forest (for example Mount Makiling, 300-500 m asl) during a 1989 survey (Ingle 2002) and in 1997-1999 by J. Sedlock. Surveys from 1992 to 1999 also failed to find this species, though further netting in the remaining forest patches below 1,000 m are required to confirm absence (Ingle in litt. 2007). On Kitanglad in 1992–1999, surveys below 1,000 m asl failed to capture any specimens (Heaney et al. 2006), and a recent survey by The Philippine Eagle Foundation captured a single dawn bat in lowland forest (900 m asl) on Mount Sinaka, Arakan, Cotabato Province, Mindanao (R. Gomez in litt. 2007).

In general, through, during 2000s there have been increased numbers of the dawn bat being reported during surveys (L. Heaney pers. comm. 2007). In undisturbed habitat on Samar it is more common than E. spelaea (J. C. Gonzalez pers. comm. 2006). For Mindanao past and ongoing habitat loss due to deforestation has probably caused a population decline in the dawn bat which is estimated to be at least 30% over three generations (D. Balete and N. Ingle pers. comm. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:E. robusta is not a well known species, but appears to be reliant on caves in lowland habitats. It is most common in undisturbed forest though it can occur in secondary forest and some disturbed areas. It is thought to roost primarily in caves, although it is possible that rock crevices and rocky banks along creeks are also used as roosting sites in primary lowland forest and disturbed habitats on limestone on Negros (E. Alcala pers. comm. 2006); there are no reports from agricultural or urban areas.
Generation Length (years):5-7

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Although hunting of this species for food has not been confirmed, it is very likely.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Deforestation and cave disturbance are likely to be the main threats to this species. E. robusta seems to be able to persist in some areas of secondary growth forest, which remains relatively widespread in Philippines (Heaney pers. comm. 2006), but it appears to be absent from other similar areas (for example Mount Makiling, Luzon) (Ingle in litt. 2007). Habitat loss has been high in the past but the species is perhaps less threatened currently than it was 20 years ago (L. Heaney pers. comm. 2006).

It is probably hunted in parts of its range, along with other cave-roosting bats, although there is no direct evidence of this. If mining operations proposed to occur within the range of the species proceed, then this would cause a particular threat to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: E. robusta occurs in protected areas and the caves in which the species roosts are given nominal protection under the Cave Management Act, but enforcement of this legislation is weak. There is an important need to gather more information on the ecological requirements and conservation needs to this species. In particular, more study is needed to document the extent of any hunting, to assess its habitat preferences and association, and to determine its distribution in lowland caves.

Citation: Ong, P., Rosell-Ambal, G., Tabaranza, B., Walston, J., Balete, D., Alcala, E., Reizl, J.C., Ramayla, S., Sedlock, J., Gomez, R., Gonzalez, J.C., Ingle, N. & Heaney, L. 2008. Eonycteris robusta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T136768A4337294. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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