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Myotis keenii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA VESPERTILIONIDAE

Scientific Name: Myotis keenii
Species Authority: (Merriam, 1895)
Common Name(s):
English Keen's Myotis
Taxonomic Notes: Myotis septentrionalis formerly was included in this species. Koopman (1993) included septentrionalis in M. keenii, but van Zyll de Jong (1985), and Simmons (2005) recognized M. keenii and M. septentrionalis as distinct species. Most literature references to M. keenii actually pertain to Myotis septentrionalis. A recent molecular study using mtDNA (cytochrome b gene) (Tanya Dewey, unpublished data) supports the close relationship of M. keenii and M. evotis and their distant relationship to M. septentrionalis. In fact, the molecular phylogeny suggests that M. keenii and M. evotis are conspecific. However, until further studies are completed and published, we here maintain M. keenii and M. evotis as different species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Arroyo-Cabrales, J. & Ticul Alvarez Castaneda, S.
Reviewer(s): Medellín, R. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, 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: The range includes coastal Washington, British Columbia (including Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and coastal mainland), and southeastern Alaska (e.g., Hoonah, Wrangell, Ketchikan) (Parker and Cook 1996; Simmons 2005). This species has one of the smallest distributional ranges of any North American bat (Van Zyll de Jong 1985).
Countries:
Native:
Canada (British Columbia); United States (Alaska, Washington)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably is at least several thousand. A maternity colony in British Columbia included about 40 reproductive females (COSEWIC 2003).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is known from 25 locations in Canada, where only a couple maternity colonies have been identified (COSEWIC 2003). The only known hibernacula in British Columbia are on northern Vancouver Island where M. keenii has been found in 8 caves from 3 separate areas (COSEWIC 2003). The species is known from just a few locations in southeast Alaska.

The distributional range suggests an association with coastal forest habitat (van Zyll de Jong 1985; Nagorsen and Brigham, unpubl. manuscript). Apparently this bat is associated with mature forests (COSEWIC report), but it is not restricted to old growth (COSEWIC 2003). Across the range it has been found roosting in southwest-facing rock crevices, among geothermally heated rocks, in tree cavities, in bark crevices, and in buildings (D. Burles pers. comm.; Nagorsen and Brigham 1993; Parker and Cook 1996). Tree cavities and loose bark are important natural roost sites and may be limiting in some parts of the range (British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection 2004). In British Columbia, one maternity colony (on Hot Springs Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands) is situated within geothermally heated rocks associated with hot spring activity (British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection 2004). The only other known maternity colony in British Columbia was suspected to be in a tree located in a low elevation, southwest-facing cliff at Knoll Hill near Tahsis, Vancouver Island (COSEWIC 2003). Known maternity roosts and summer feeding areas in British Columbia are at elevations below 240 meters; known hibernation sites occur above 400 meters in caves over 100 meters long (British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection 2004). These bats have been observed foraging over hot spring pools and clearings above scrubby salal (Gaultheria shallon).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat quantity and quality are presumed to be declining (British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection 2004), but the rate of decline is unknown. Population estimates made at a British Columbia maternity colony during the 1990s indicate that it remained stable between 1991 and 2000 (COSEWIC 2003).

Logging activities and associated road building likely are reducing and fragmenting habitat; mineral extraction, forest fires, and pesticides also may be detrimental (Balcombe, 1988 COSEWIC report; British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection 2004). Disturbance during hibernation and while raising young is a major concern; disturbance may result from recreational activities (e.g., caving) or industrial activities (e.g., blasting for road construction) (British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection 2004). Current levels of timber harvest could have a detrimental effect on the Alaska population by altering forest structure important to bats (Parker et al. 1997). Bat activity is rare in clearcuts and second-growth forests of Southeast Alaska (Parker and Cook 1997, Parker et al. 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A maternity colony in British Columbia is protected within Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.

Weymer Cave and White Ridge Provincial Parks protect areas that support M. keenii hibernacula and roosting habitat. The former park has a draft management plan that identifies the need to protect the bat roosts, but also identifies recreational caving, hiking, and tourism as acceptable park activities (COSEWIC 2003).

Range-wide population surveys are needed. Coordinated surveys should be conducted in Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. See British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (2004) for specific protection needs and management recommendations.

This species is known only from a limited number of museum specimens. Virtually nothing is known about its biology (van Zyll de Jong 1985). Present research needs include the following: 1. Assess habitat preferences, including roosting and feeding areas, activity patterns, and food requirements. 2. Determine if there is any seasonal movement within the population. 3. Assessing whether this species hibernates, and if so, where and under what conditions. 4. Research the reproductive capacity of the species and evaluate its long-term population viability.

Citation: Arroyo-Cabrales, J. & Ticul Alvarez Castaneda, S. 2008. Myotis keenii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 October 2014.
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