Natalus major 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Natalidae

Scientific Name: Natalus major Miller, 1902
Common Name(s):
English Hispaniolan Greater Funnel-eared Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Formerly included in N. stramineus, see Timm and Genoways (2003). Does not include jamaicensis or primus (A. Tejedor pers. comm.). See Arroyo-Cabrales et al. (1997), who reviewed genetic variation and possible relationships of populations of N. major, N. jamaicensis, and N. stramineus (although note that they were all treated as N. stramineus).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-05-23
Assessor(s): Miller, B. & Reid, F.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
Contributor(s): Tejedor, A., Arroyo-Cabrales, J. & de Grammont, P.C.
Listed as Near Threatened because, although the species is still reasonably widely distributed, it is dependent upon a highly fragile and threatened habitat (caves with very specific requirements). Given the current threats to these caves, and the fact that they seem to be increasing in recent years, it could qualify as Vulnerable under criterion A3c, due to a suspected population decline in the future - it is suspected that within the next three generations (approximately 17 years), the population decline will be 20-25%.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from Hispaniola, including both Dominican Republic, and Haiti (Simmons 2005, Tejedor 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Dominican Republic; Haiti
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Natalus major is known from 30 localities of which at least 10 have been roost sites, nine of them caves and one a large hollow tree (Timm and Genoways 2003). The caves where N. major has been found range from small to very large, are always humid, and often contain hot chambers and bodies of water. The species roosts in loose groups of less than 10 to more than 50 individuals, occupying areas of low ceilings or cave walls; roosting colonies may reach a few hundred individuals (Tejedor 2011). It may be locally common in specific areas (Hoyt and Baker 1980).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found throughout dry areas. Natalus major has been found almost exclusively in caves, the exception being one report of nine individuals (2 females and 7 males) found roosting inside a large hollow tree in semiarid lowlands in the northern Dominican Republic (Timm and Genoways 2003). Its delicate wing membrane is subject to rapid dehydration; thus, this species probably require caves with relative humidity for day time roosts. There is no reproductive information available (Hoyt and Baker 1980). It is insectivorous (Nowak 1999). It probably forages in rather cluttered vegetation and over relatively small home ranges (Tejedor et al. 2004).
Generation Length (years):5.6

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Some of the caves where the species is known to roost are subject to modification for touristic activities, as well as for mining exploitation in Dominican Republic (Inchaustegui, pers. comm.). Other known threats come from access to caves for Guano extraction, or mining of caves for material construction (Rodriguez-Duran and Turvey, pers. comm.). This kind of disturbance can affect the suitability of caves for bats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Considering that this species is restricted to Hispaniola, adequate population assessments should be undertaken to evaluate its potential conservation needs (Tejedor 2011), as well as further awareness on the protection of caves.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
7. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) -> 7.1. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) - Caves
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.3. Work & other activities
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions

Bibliography [top]

Arroyo-Cabrales, J., van den Bussche, R. A., Haiduk-Sigler, K., Chesser, R. K. and Baker, R. J. 1997. Genic variation in island populations of Natalus stramineus (Chiroptera: Natalidae). Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 1771: 1-9.

Hoyt, R. A. and Baker, R. J. 1980. Natalus major. Mammalian Species 130: 1-3.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA and London, UK.

Simmons, N.B. 2005. Order Chiroptera. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 312-529. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Tejedor, A. 2011. Systematics of funnel-eared bats (Chiroptera: Natalidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 353: 1-140.

Tejedor, A., Silva-Taboada, G. and Rodríguez-Hernández, D. 2004. Discovery of extant Natalus major (Chiroptera: Natalidae) in Cuba. Mammalian Biology 69: 153-162.

Timm, R.M. and Genoways, H.H. 2003. West Indian mammals from the Albert Schwartz Collection: Biological and historical information. Scientific Papers of the University of Kansas Natural History Museum 29: 1-47.

Citation: Miller, B. & Reid, F. 2016. Natalus major. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136548A21992984. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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