Vampyressa melissa 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Phyllostomidae

Scientific Name: Vampyressa melissa
Species Authority: Thomas, 1926
Common Name(s):
English Melissa's Yellow-eared Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Vampyressa melissa will be split into different species in the near future. This may be a species complex (Tavares pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-20
Assessor(s): Ramirez-Chaves, H. & Tavares, V. and Torres-Martinez, M.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
This species is listed as Vulnerable because of a population decline of over 30% in the last three generations inferred from rapid land-use change, habitat destruction and degradation, and shrinkage in distribution. Habitat is rapidly being converted to agriculture and illicit crops - a trend projected to increase in the near future (V. Tavares, P. Velazco and L. Aguirre pers. comm. 2008). This species is rare and sensitive to habitat change (V. Tavares, P. Velazco and L. Aguirre pers. comm. 2008), although at least four specimens are from disturbed areas (e.g. Gardner 1976, Albuja-V. 1991, Rageot and Albuja 1994). The finding that V. melissa was a species complex further reduced the number of known records, and reinforced the perception of its highly threatened status (Tavares et al. 2014).
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the eastern slopes of the Eastern Andes of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, over an elevational range between 1,180 and 2,763 m asl (Tavares et al. 2014). A record from French Guiana is erroneous (Charles-Dominique et al. 2001), and possibly represents Vampyriscus brocki (Arroyo-Cabrales 2008). A record from the National Park Cueva de Los Guacharos, Colombia (Lemke et al. 1982) was attributed to the recently described form Vampyressa sinchi (Tavares et al. 2014). This species is restricted to a relatively small geographic area.
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Ecuador; Peru
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1180
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2763
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is rare and known only from 11 records (one in Colombia, three in Ecuador and seven in Peru; Tavares et al. 2014). The last confirmed (and published) specimens from Colombia and Ecuador were captured more than 15 year ago.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species has only been collected in primary forest and in areas which are conserved. It inhabits Andean forests, including mostly well conserved but also fragmented habitats (Gardner 1976, Albuja-V. 1991, Tavares et al. 2014). One Ecuadorian female specimen housed at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution was pregnant (foetus crown-to-rump length, 27 mm) when captured on 12 February 1983 (Tavares et al. 2014), and no signs of reproductive activity were observed in specimens from Peru caught in early May (Gardner 1976). As these bats are frugivorous (Gardner 1977), the primary factor limiting their distribution may be the year-round availability of consumable fruit (Tavares et al. 2014). This species has a generation length of sizx years (Pacifici et al. 2013).
Systems: Terrestrial
Generation Length (years): 6

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Rapid deforestation in the western portion of its range (along the flanks of the Andes) is a serious threat to the species, as is fumigation, road construction and encroachment of human settlements along these new roads. Habitat is rapidly being converted to agriculture and illicit crops. Land-use change is projected to increase in the near future, and will be an increasing threat to this species (V. Tavares, P. Velazco and L. Aguirre pers. comm. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in protected areas in Ecuador (although it is only known from three records in the country) and Peru (at least two protected areas). The only known Colombian record is from the Tamá National Park. It might however be present in several protected areas along its distribution.

Citation: Ramirez-Chaves, H. & Tavares, V. and Torres-Martinez, M. 2015. Vampyressa melissa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22839A22058315. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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