Balantiopteryx io 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Emballonuridae

Scientific Name: Balantiopteryx io
Species Authority: Thomas, 1904
Common Name(s):
English Thomas's Sac-winged Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Balantiopteryx io  and B. infusca are sister species with a strong support in molecular analysis. These species have allopatric distributions separately by approximately 1,500 km and B. io is not the sister species to parapatrically B. plicata (Lim et al. 2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-09-11
Assessor(s): Lim, B.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
Contributor(s): Miller, B., Reid, F., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., de Grammont, P.C. & Cuarón, A.D.
This species is listed as Vulnerable because, although the species is still reasonably widely distributed, it is dependent upon a highly fragile forested habitat and dependent on caves as roost sites. The species is estimated to have declined by more than 30% due to habitat loss and degradation in the last ten years and remaining subpopulations are fragmented.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs on the Atlantic versant from southern Veracruz and Oaxaca (Mexico) to east central Guatemala and Belize (Simmons 2005). It occurs from lowlands to 500 m asl (Reid 2009).
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Guatemala; Mexico
Upper elevation limit (metres): 500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This bat is locally common in semi-deciduous or evergreen forests. The population is declining.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species can be found in semi-deciduous or evergreen forest. It roosts in rather dark recesses of large, limestone caves. Groups may number 50 or more, with individuals widely and evenly spaced, often roosting in crevices on the ceiling of high chambers. In the Maya Mountains (Bladden Drainage), in Belize, colonies were observed in continuous forest setting (McCarthy pers. comm.). Activity starts well after sunset, later than related species, and, as a result, flight and foraging behaviour are difficult to observe. Pregnant females have been recorded between March and July (Arroyo-Cabrales and Knox-Jones 1988).
Systems: Terrestrial
Generation Length (years): 2

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and vandalism in the caves are the main threats. It is threatened by adventure tourism in caves in Belize (800 people by day), Yucatan (B. Miller pers. comm.) and parts of Guatemala (Reid 2009). It is highly threatened in Belize (B. Miller pers. comm.). In Mexico it has been evaluated as Vulnerable because of 45% habitat loss in the last 10 years (Cuaron and de Grammont pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The recommended conservation action is to avoid habitat destruction and this requires implementation of a cave management system. It is found in some protected areas in Mexico (Arroyo-Cabrales pers. comm.).

Citation: Lim, B. 2015. Balantiopteryx io. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T2532A22030080. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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