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: B. 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. 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Lim, B., Miller, B., Reid, F., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Cuarón, A.D. & de Grammont, P.C.
Reviewer(s): Medellín, R. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Vulnerable because, although the species is still reasonably widely distributed, it is dependent upon a highly fragile habitat. The species is estimated to have lost >30% of its habitat in the last ten years and remaining populations are severely fragmented.
Previously published Red List assessments:
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 (Reid 1997).
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 (Reid 1997). The population is declining. In the Maya Mountains (Bladden Drainage), in Belize, colonies were observed in continuous forest setting (McCarthy pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species can be found in semideciduous 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. 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 Jones 1988; Reid 1997).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and vandalism in the caves. Tourism in caves in Belize (800 people by day) and Yucatan (Miller pers. comm.).
Very threatened in Belize (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: Avoid habitat destruction. It is found in some protected areas in Mexico (Arroyo-Cabrales pers. comm.).

Citation: Lim, B., Miller, B., Reid, F., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Cuarón, A.D. & de Grammont, P.C. 2008. Balantiopteryx io. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T2532A9450214. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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