Aethalops alecto 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Aethalops alecto (Thomas, 1923)
Common Name(s):
English Pygmy Fruit Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Unpublished genetic data show that the Javan form of Aethalops (ocypete) is genetically very distinct from the Bornean form. However, we are lacking DNA barcodes for the peninsular Malaysian form to determine how distinct alecto (Pen. Malaysia / Sumatra) is relative to aequalis (Borneo) or the Javan form, and therefore whether there should be 2 or 3 species and what their names should be (C. Francis pers. comm. 2012). Genetic data using 12S RNA gene showed a rather high genetic distance between A. aequalis (Borneo) and A. alecto (Lombok, Bali, Sumatra, Java) ranging from 5.4-12.1% (R. Chaya pers. comm. 2012).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-06-27
Assessor(s): Jayaraj, V.K., Tingga, R.C.T. & Struebig, M.
Reviewer(s): Mildenstein, T.
Contributor(s): Maharadatunkamsi, H.S., Hutson, A.M., Francis, M.P., Helgen, K. & Kingston, T.
Listed as Least Concern as the species has a wide distribution, it is presumed to have a large population, and its populations are unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. However this species is threatened by global warming and loss of habitat due to deforestation.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has been recorded from Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Lombok in Indonesia (Simmons 2005). It has not yet been found in southern Thailand (S. Bumrungsri pers. comm.) and previous records of this species in Borneo are actually Aethalops aequalis. Recent sampling in three highland areas of Malaysia did not find any individuals from this species (V. K. Jayaraj pers. comm. 2012). Records from PERHILITAN indicate that this species has restricted distribution from the north west to central Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN 2010).
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia; Malaysia
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1000
Upper elevation limit (metres):2700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is confined to hill and montane forest above 1,000 m asl (Francis 2008). However recent surveys in Lojing Highlands, Gunung Jerai, did not record this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs in hill and montane forests (probably restricted to forest) from 1,000 m up to 2,700 m asl. In Peninsular Malaysia the species is found up to 1,700 m (Francis 2008). Specimens from Jawa, Bali and Lombok mainly were collected from forest area at an altitude between 1,300-2,200 m asl indicating that this species is highland forest dependent (Maharadatunkamsi pers. comm. 2012).

It roosts singly or in small groups of 2-3. A single female collected on Lombok had a large foetus. In the Peninsular Malaysia, pregnant females were reported from February and May and February to June. It is not known whether it can adapt to human disturbance.

Despite its distribution being confined to montane and submontane forests, using electrophoresis approach, this species does not show a reduced degree of heterozygosity.  This moderate variability may be due to long-range gene flow between the mountain areas, leading to substantial effective population sizes, suggesting individuals of this species move rather freely between Indonesian islands (Kitchener et al. 1993).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to this species would include habitat perturbations due to climate change and montane forest conversion for agricultural activities (V.K. Jayaraj pers. comm. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Habitat conservation is important to this bat species, which is limited in its range within montane forests (Maharadatunkamsi pers. comm. 2012).

Conservation Research
Studies are needed on the population sizes, distribution, and extent of occurrence throughout its range. Ecological Niche Modelling would provide baseline expected area of occupancy. Monitoring of population sizes and locations over time are also important to establish whether these are stable or experiencing trends of decline.

The threats to these bats are poorly understood. Studies are needed on the species’ habitat requirements and on the effects of forest loss and degradation on the species’ population sizes/distribution

Citation: Jayaraj, V.K., Tingga, R.C.T. & Struebig, M. 2016. Aethalops alecto. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T565A22028716. . Downloaded on 26 September 2017.
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