Myotis atacamensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Vespertilionidae

Scientific Name: Myotis atacamensis (Lataste, 1892)
Common Name(s):
English Atacama Myotis, Atacaman Myotis
Taxonomic Notes: Listed as a subspecies of Myotis chiloensis. Includes M. nicholsoni (LaVal, 1973) (Simmons 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-12-12
Assessor(s): Vargas-Rodríguez, R., Peñaranda, D., Ugarte Nuñez, J., Rodríguez-San Pedro, A., Ossa Gomez, G. & Gatica Castro, A.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
This bat is listed as Endangered because, although the species is still reasonably widely distributed, it is very dependent on its specific habitat and it has become severely fragmented. Surveys along the coastal deserts of Peru and Chile have not found connecting populations, and the few ones are well apart from each other. Also, its area of occupancy (AOO) is less than 200 km2 and the species qualifies as threatened under criterion B2ab(ii,iii). There is a predicted changes in land use, population is expected to decline more than 30% in the next three generations (18 years, Pacifici et al. 2013) based on the decline of habitat quality, that qualify the species Vulnerable under criterion A3c.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Atacama Myotis is known from southern Peru and northern Chile (Simmons 2005). However historical records indicate the presence of the species in northern Peru, and there are records in the central coast, and a recent southern record from Choapa, Coquimbo, Chile (Rodríguez San Pedro et al. 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Chile; Peru
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:200Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Number of Locations:5
Upper elevation limit (metres):2250
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no information on population size across its geographic range. There are a few occasional records of small colonies in Chile, like the one described by Galaz and Yañez (2006) (with 20 individuals near El Refresco, Reserva Nacional  Pampa del Tamarugal), and the one reported by Rodríguez-San Pedro et al. (2014) (with almost 30 individuals at Reserva Nacional Las Chinchillas). From 1923 to 2014, the average number of annual records is less than one, and some years have passed without any record at all (1925-1938, 1953-1967 and 1995-2012). Across the years there is evidence of a cycle of high fluctuations, going from a maximum peak to a minimum (unpubl. data). Given that the number of records is somehow related to the abundance of individuals, these variations could be related to the population dynamics of the species, but this remains to be verified.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species occupies deserts and thorny arid scrubs of Peru and Chile form the core of its distribution. The area of distribution includes three major areas, wide apart from each other; each area includes several local and smaller populations. Diurnal roosts include rock crevices, small caves, and hollow trees (Mann 1978, Iriarte 2008), but might use ceilings in large edifications (churches, old houses) or small drainage tunnels. Foraging activity begins one hour before dusk and lasts for about three hours (Galaz et al. 2009). This is the only Neotropical species of Myotis that hibernates.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):6

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to this species include land use change, mining, agriculture, urban development, and eolic energy production (wind farms). Along its geographic distribution, the agricultural expansion is changing the landscape, including species composition, plus the increase of eolic farms in northern Chile which are recognized as a direct threat to insectivorous bats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Regional efforts in Chile are looking for protection of the habitats where the species is present. These include the designation of protected areas and their inclusion in the National System of Protected Areas. The species occurs at the Reserva Nacional Las Chinchillas (Coquimbo region) and Reserva Nacional  Pampa del Tamarugal, both in Chile. Further studies are necessary to assess the risk of populations nearby the projects for Eolic farms in northern Chile.

Citation: Vargas-Rodríguez, R., Peñaranda, D., Ugarte Nuñez, J., Rodríguez-San Pedro, A., Ossa Gomez, G. & Gatica Castro, A. 2016. Myotis atacamensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14143A22050638. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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