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Coleura afra

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA EMBALLONURIDAE

Scientific Name: Coleura afra
Species Authority: (Peters, 1852)
Common Name(s):
English African Sheath-tailed Bat
Taxonomic Notes: The recently discovered population in Madagascar could prove to be a distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A., Cardiff, S. & Bergmans, W.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
History:
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The African sheath-tailed bat is found in much of east and eastern-central Africa, with an isolated record from central Mozambique. It is also found in west Africa, with records from Guinea and Guinea Bissau, northern Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and western Nigeria. There is also a small distribution in western Angola. This species was recently discovered in Madagascar (Goodman et al. 2005) and is known only from the Ankarana Special Reserve in the north of the island and the Namoroka National Park in the west.
Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Central African Republic; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Madagascar; Mozambique; Nigeria; Somalia; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda
Possibly extinct:
Congo
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In the African portion of the African sheath-tailed bat's distribution, it roosts in large colonies (in the 1,000s of animals). The population and local abundance of this species in Madagascar is not known, but there is a minimum estimate of 500 individuals in one cave complex in Ankarana, Madagascar.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: On mainland Africa, the African sheath-tailed bat is found in well illuminated caves, rocky crevices and cellars of houses (Rosevear, 1965). It preferentially roosts in caves along the sea and lake shores (Kingdon, 1974). In Nigeria, the African sheath-tailed bat is found in localised rocky habitats in southern Guinea savanna. Rosevear (1965) stated that they occur in woodland but only where there are acceptable roosting places. It is likely that other colonies occur in suitable rocky habitats in the southern Guinea savanna of western Nigeria. On Madagascar this bat taxon appears to be more varied in its habits, with some roost sites typically very dark and others quite close to the cave entrance. The two known sites on Madagascar are within dry deciduous tropical forest on a karst substrate (Goodman et al. 2005). Some authours suggests that the African sheath-tailed bat migrates (Happold, 1987; Skinner and Smithers 1990).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to this species are not well understood. Disturbance of roost sites could potentially be a threat, but the effect of this on the population is not well known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: On the African continent, there are no species-specific conservation measures in place, but there are some protected areas within its range. Both of the known sites for this species in Madagascar are within protected areas (the Ankarana Special Reserve and Namoroka National Park).

Citation: Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A., Cardiff, S. & Bergmans, W. 2008. Coleura afra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 October 2014.
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