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Myotis punicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA VESPERTILIONIDAE

Scientific Name: Myotis punicus
Species Authority: Felten, Spitzenberger, and Storch, 1977
Common Name(s):
English Maghreb Mouse-eared Bat, Maghrebian Myotis, Maghrebian Myotis, Felten's Myotis
French Murin du Maghreb
Taxonomic Notes: Originally described as a subspecies of M. blythii, but recently shown to lie outside a clade including blythii, myotis and oxygnathus (Ruedi and Mayer 2001).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Aulagnier, S., Juste, J., Karataş, A., Palmeirim, J. & Paunović, M.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
The species is cave dwelling, only a small number of colonies are known, and these are in tourist areas subject to disturbance. There is evidence of decline in Corsica, and it is assumed that the population trend will be similar on Sardinia as the species faces the same threats there. On Malta, surveys have shown an estimated decline of 50% or more in 3 generations, although this is a small part of the overall population and the trend has now stabilised. Given that it is a strict cave dweller, there are probably significant declines in North Africa due to exploitation and cave disturbance. Hence the species is listed as Near Threatened (almost meets VU under criteria A4cd).
History:
2004 Data Deficient

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Myotis punicus occurs in North-west Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and to western Libya) and on the Mediterranean islands of Corsica (to France), Sardinia (to Italy), and Malta (including Gozo).
Countries:
Native:
Algeria; France (Corsica); Italy (Sardegna); Libya; Malta; Morocco; Tunisia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Over 10,000 individuals, found in large colonies (300-500 individuals). On Corsica there are around 4,000 individuals in four colonies. The total population size on Corsica, Sardinia and Malta is estimated at between 7,000 and 9,000 individuals. Thgis is a cave dwelling species, therefore there are few colonies. On Malta, over 50% of the population was lost between the latter half of the 1980s and the early 1990s. Numbers appear to have stabilised at 400-450 individuals (Borg 2002, J.J. Borg unpubl. data).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species forages in woodland, shrubland and semi-deserts. It roosts in underground sites, possibly also in buildings and bridges. Bats ringed in Malta were retrapped in Gozo, but there were no indications of longer distance movements (Hutterer et al. 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Human disturbance is a major threat, as colonies are located in tourist areas, in caves that are well known and popular. Changes in land management and agricultural pollution are also threats. In North Africa the species is collected for traditional medicinal use.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is protected by national legislation in its European range states. There are also international legal obligations for its protection through the Bonn Convention (Eurobats) and Bern Convention, in parts of its range where these apply. It is included in Annex IV of the EU Habitats and Species Directive, and some habitat protection may be provided through Natura 2000. There is an ongoing project for the conservation of this species. Appropriate conservation measures include fencing cave entrances (but not gating) and obtaining legal protection for the species.

In North Africa further research into population trends, establishment and management of protected areas, education, and implementation of national-scale legislation are needed.

Citation: Aulagnier, S., Juste, J., Karataş, A., Palmeirim, J. & Paunović, M. 2008. Myotis punicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 December 2014.
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