Natalus primus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Natalidae

Scientific Name: Natalus primus
Species Authority: Anthony, 1919
Common Name(s):
English Cuban Greater Funnel-eared Bat
Taxonomic Notes: This species was formerly included in N. stramineus, but is clearly distinct from that species; see Morgan (1989), Morgan and Czaplewski (2003) and Simmons (2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-10-21
Assessor(s): Mancina, C.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
Contributor(s): Dávalos, L.
This species is listed as Vulnerable because it is only known from a single cave (and therefore, one location), with an area of occupancy (AOO) under 20 km2, and with a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat that might result in the taxon becoming Critically Endangered or Extinct in a very short time.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Rediscovered in 1992, this species was previously thought to be extinct. A recent subpopulation of this species is known from one cave on the western tip of Cuba (Tejedor et al. 2004, Mancina 2012), but fossils occur at several sites on Cuba and the Isla de Pinos (Silva Taboada 1979).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:13324
Number of Locations:1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is known from a single cave, probably including a few thousand individuals (Tejedor et al. 2005). Fossil remains suggest a former wider distribution throughout Cuba and Isla de Pinos (Silva-Taboada 1979), the Bahamas and Cayman Islands (Tejedor 2011).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species roosts in caves. It is known from a single cave (Tejedor et al. 2005). This species is moderately to highly gregarious with cave colonies estimated at fewer than 100 individuals (Tejedor et al. 2005). Copulation in N. primus has been observed to take place in April, and pregnant females of this species have been captured in May (Tejedor et al. 2004). It has been found to feed mostly on moths, crickets and beetles, and less frequently on other insect orders: Hymenoptera (Formicidae), Neuroptera, Diptera, Homoptera and Hemiptera (Tejedor et al. 2004).
Movement patterns:Nomadic

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and human intrusion in the cave are the main threats (Tejedor et al. 2004, Mancina 2012). In addition the ongoing collapse of the roof of the cave can upset the thermal balance in this hot cave. Climatic changes could also interrupt the thermal cave balance and result in extinction of this species (L. Dávalos pers. comm.)

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protecting the cave is the most important priority, this must include limitation of access by non-authorized personnel (Tejedor et al. 2004, Mancina 2012).

Classifications [top]

7. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) -> 7.1. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) - Caves
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
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:No
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
10. Geological events -> 10.3. Avalanches/landslides
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.3. Temperature extremes
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

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

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Mancina, C.A. 2012. Mamíferos. In: H. Gonzalez, L. Rodriguez-Schettino, A. Rodriguez, C.A. Mancina and I. Ramos (eds), Libro Rojo de los Vertebrados de Cuba, pp. 269-291. La Habana.

Morgan, G.S. 1989. Fossil Chiroptera and Rodentia from the Bahamas, and the historical biogeography of the Bahamian mammal fauna. In: C.A. Woods (ed.), Biogeography of the West Indies: in Past, present, and future, pp. 685-740. Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Morgan, G.S. and Czaplewski, N.J. 2003. A new bat (Chiroptera: Natalidae) from the early Miocene of Florida, with comments on natalid phylogeny. Journal of Mammalogy 84: 729-752.

Silva-Taboada, G. 1979. Los murcielagos de Cuba. Editorial Academia.

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.

Tejedor, A., Tavares, V.C. and Silva-Taboada, G. 2005. A Revision of Extant Greater Antillean Bats of the Genus Natalus. American Museum Novitates 3493: 1-22.

Citation: Mancina, C. 2016. Natalus primus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136777A22032828. . Downloaded on 21 October 2016.
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