Otomops wroughtoni 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Molossidae

Scientific Name: Otomops wroughtoni
Species Authority: (Thomas, 1913)
Common Name(s):
English Wroughton's Free-tailed Bat, Wroughton's Giant Mastiff Bat
Nyctinomus wroughtoni Thomas, 1913

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-12-14
Assessor(s): Prabhukhanolkar, R.
Reviewer(s): Piraccini, R.
Contributor(s): Francis, C, Bates, P. & Molur, S.

This species is listed as Data Deficient due to little knowledge of taxonomy, population size, distribution, ecology and threats. Until very recently this species was only known from one locality in India. In the last ten years the species has been recorded from four sites in north eastern India (Meghalaya) and a site in Cambodia suggesting a much larger range than previously thought.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is known from six disjunct sites in India and Cambodia. In India, the species has been recorded from the type locality of Barapede Cave near Talewadi, Belagavi district, in Karnataka (Bates and Harrison 1997), and more recently from Phrang Karuh Cave, near Nongtrai village, Shella confederacy, Meghalaya (Thabah and Bates 2002) and from three caves in southeastern Mehgalaya in Jaintia hills located near the villages of Pynurkba, near village of Umlatdoh, and a third cave near village of Thangsah (Ruedi et al. 2014).

In Cambodia, it is known only from a recent collection in Chhep District, Preah Vihear Province (Walston and Bates 2001). There is another unpublished putative second record from Cambodia, a photograph of a dead specimen from Bahon temple (Bates and Fahr pers. comm. 2015).

It has been recorded from an elevation of 140 to 860 m asl (Bates and Harrison 1997, Ruedi et al. 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Cambodia; India
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:<10
Lower elevation limit (metres):140
Upper elevation limit (metres):860
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Ramakrishna et al. (2003) describe the colony in Barapede cave as numbering approximately 70 individuals. They also state that females have been recorded carrying one foetus/young.

Thabah and Bates (2002) report one specimen captured outside the Phrang Karuh cave in Meghalaya, India. Ruedi et al. (2014) reported ca 90 individuals from three caves in southeastern Meghalaya, Jaintia hills. A population of ca 82 individuals at Cave near Pynurkba, and ca 15 individuals in the cave near the village of Umlatdoh were observed, while in a third cave near village of Thangsah bats could not be counted as they were concealed deeper in a narrow crevice (Ruedi et al. 2014).

Walston and Bates (2001) report a single bat captured in Cambodia. The population in Barapede Cave seems to fluctuate between 40 and 100 as reported by different workers, while the population numbers and trends in the two new locations are unknown. The average count from the Barapede cave from 2012 to 2015 is about 82+ individuals  (Prabhukhanolkar, pers. comm. 2015).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The Barapede cave is located on a lateritic  plateau above a moist deciduous, semi evergreen forested valley at 800 m with high humidity inside (Alfred et al. 2006) (Prabhukhanolkar, pers. comm. 2015). The bats were found to live in small groups of 2 to 15 individuals both sexes in crevices throughout the cave (Bates and Harrison 1997, Alfred et al. 2006). 

Few larger groups of 20-35 individuals are regularly observed in relatively bigger avens  in the ceiling at Barapede cave. Few time bats are observed inside the Barapede cave till 9.00 PM in the evening (Prabhukhanolkar  pers. comm. 2015).

The cave where a specimen was captured in north-east India is likewise situated on the edge of a plateau at 170 m Asl in a tropical semi-evergreen forest and near cultivated areas (Thabah and Bates 2002). The three recently discovered  roosting sites are  limestone caves in the Jaintia hills of southeastern Meghalaya, India. Ruedi et al. (2014) has observed  larger aggregations (12–70 individuals) of bats in relatively large cupola (avens) in the ceiling, while smaller groups (3–8 individuals) roosting in narrower crevices of the ceiling.

Walston and Bates (2001) report a single bat captured in lowland degraded mixed deciduous forest (nearby one of the few semi-evergreen patches in the area) at 140 m Asl in Cambodia.

Generation Length (years):3.9

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The species is threatened from increased tourism, human interference and collections for scientific purposes (Molur et al. 2002). The habitat close to the Barapede cave is threatened from submergence due to a proposed dam and river diversion project in the region (Prabhukhanolkar, pers. comm. 2015) (Molur et al. 2002). The spread of alien plants species Prosopis sp. at the cave mouth is a visible hindrance to bat activities (Pradhan pers. comm. 2003).

Threats to the populations at the other recently discovered new localities in Northeast India are deforestation and severe destruction of native habitats induced by unregulated limestone and coal mining, and deforestation. Expanding commercial plantation of Areca catechu, and Thysanolaena maxima can also adversely affects potential foraging habitats (Ruedi et al. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

The The Brapede cave is part of the core zone of the recently notified Bhimgad sanctuary, in Karnataka, India. (Prabhukhanolkar pers. comm. 2015)  In Meghalaya (Northeast India) One of the three recently found major cave roost  near Jaintia hills  has received official protection and also has strong support from the villagers owning the cave and surrounding remnant of forest (Mukhim and Ruedi pers. comm. 2014).

The species is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act amended 2006 (Molur pers. comm. 2008). This species has been proposed to receive the highest level of protection under Cambodian wildlife law (Walston and Bates 2001). Further extensive  survey work to determine population numbers and range is required for this species. Also genetic evaluation of all known populations of this species and other Otomops would lead to a better understanding of their taxonomy, distribution and ecology.

Citation: Prabhukhanolkar, R. 2016. Otomops wroughtoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15646A22112971. . Downloaded on 28 October 2016.
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