Cistugo lesueuri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Cistugidae

Scientific Name: Cistugo lesueuri Roberts, 1919
Common Name(s):
English Lesueur's Hairy Bat, Lesueur's Myotis, Lesueur's Wing-gland Bat, Wing-gland bat
Myotis lesueuri (Roberts, 1919)
Taxonomic Source(s): Lack, J.B., Roehrs, Z.P., Stanley, C.E., Ruedi, M. and Van Den Bussche, R.A. 2010. Molecular phylogenetics of Myotis indicate familial-level divergence for the genus Cistugo (Chiroptera). Journal of Mammalogy 91(4): 976–992.
Taxonomic Notes:

Historically this species has been included in the genus Myotis (family Vespertilionidae), but molecular studies show that the genus is distinct from all other Vespertilionidae, and in fact is distinctive enough to be placed in its own family, Cistugidae (Rautenbach et al. 1993, Lack et al. 2010).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2014-02-05
Assessor(s): Monadjem, A., Taylor, P., Schoeman, C., Monadjem, A., Cohen, L., MacEwan, K., Avenant, N., Balona, J., Jacobs, D. & Richards, L, Sethusa, T.
Reviewer(s): Piraccini, R.
Contributor(s): Child, M.F., Raimondo, D. & Roxburgh, L.
This species is restricted to South Africa and Lesotho in areas with suitable rock crevices and water sources. It has a large range, with an estimated extent of occurrence of over 400,000 km² and there are more than 20 known locations. This species is highly likely to be under collected and many more subpopulations are suspected to occur, especially within the Nama and Succulent Karoo regions of South Africa. Wind farms represent an emerging threat, as its preferred habitat coincides with suitable wind farm sites. Although declines have been recorded these are not suspected to be at levels high enough to qualify the species for listing under a threat category. However, systematic long-term monitoring should be used to estimate rates of decline across its range, as this species may require reassessing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to South Africa and Lesotho, occurring from the Cedarberg Mountains (Seamark and Brand 2005) south to the Cape Peninsula and east into the Free State and Lesotho, where they are widely distributed (Lynch 1994). They marginally occur in the Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal Province, recorded from Kamberg (Monadjem et al. 2010). Watson (1998) first recorded it from the northern Free State Province. While they have been reported as occurring more widely in the Karoo regions of the Northern Cape Province (Herselman and Norton 1985, Skinner and Chimimba 2005, ACR 2013), this requires confirmation through further field surveys (Monadjem et al. 2010). They have recently been recorded from the Eastern Cape Province, which confirms previous suspicions that the species occurred in the regions between the Lesotho highlands and the Western Cape mountains (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). While Friedmann and Daly (2004) listed it as Near Threatened (although the specific criteria were not provided) due to it being represented by only a few localities (today, there are over 20 locations known), this species is likely to be under sampled and the extent of occurrence (EOO) is too large for a threatened listing.
Countries occurrence:
Lesotho; South Africa
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:405009
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Although endemic, the species has a wide distribution within the assessment region, despite not being common and very rarely recorded. In the Free State Province of South Africa, a group of approximately 40 individuals was located in a day roost (Watson 1998). In the Western Cape, Cedarberg area, this species made up only 4.6% of the overall catch (Seamark and Brand 2005). In inland Western Cape, near the border with the Northern Cape, a group of approximately 30 individuals was located in a day roost (T. Morgan unpubl. data). Systematic long-term monitoring should be used to estimate rates of decline across its range, as this species may be increasingly threatened by wind farm expansion.  


Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:20-30

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Cistugo lesueuri roosts in rock crevices, usually near water (Lynch 1994, Watson 1998). In the Free State, specimens were collected in a rock crevice behind a waterfall. It appears to be associated with broken terrain (koppies and cliffs) in high-altitude montane vegetation (>1,500 m asl) with suitable rock crevices and water in the form of dams, rivers or marshes (Monadjem et al. 2010). It occurs away from human habitations and constructions (ACR 2013). This species is similar to Neoromicia capensis in size, colour and flight patterns (Herselman and Norton 1985, Seamark and Brand 2005) but, while C. lesueuri is quiet and docile when netted, N. capensis is noisy and active (Watson 1998), and both species appear to use different roosting sites (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). It also pulls its head within its shoulders when handled (Seamark and Brand 2005), which has not been observed in N. capensis. It is a clutter-edge forager and feeds predominantly on Diptera and Hemiptera (Schoeman and Jacobs 2003).

This species is named after J.S. le Sueur of L’Ormarins in Paarl, Western Cape Province, who recovered the original specimen from his cat (Skinner and Chimimba 2005). 

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):5.62

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is not known to be traded. 

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The species is locally threatened, in parts of its range, by conversion of land to agricultural use (sensu Driver et al. 2012). However, as this species occurs mostly in high-altitude areas, this is not a severe threat. The growing trend of developing wind farms in the eastern parts of South Africa and in Lesotho is starting to pose a threat to this species. The degree of impact and levels of decline to the population are currently unknown and should be monitored.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

In the Western Cape, the species is recorded from the three protected areas, Cedarberg Wilderness Area, Gamkaberg Nature Reserve and Karoo National Park; in the Free State the species was recorded in the Golden Gate National Park; in Lesotho it is found in Sehlabathebe National Park, as well as in the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area. No specific interventions are currently necessary, but conservation planning and engagement with the wind energy industry will be needed in future to mitigate subpopulation loss with wind farm construction. 

Citation: Monadjem, A., Taylor, P., Schoeman, C., Monadjem, A., Cohen, L., MacEwan, K., Avenant, N., Balona, J., Jacobs, D. & Richards, L, Sethusa, T. 2017. Cistugo lesueuri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T44787A22069233. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
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