Myonycteris brachycephala 

Scope: Global

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Myonycteris brachycephala
Species Authority: (Bocage, 1889)
Common Name(s):
English Sao Tomé Collared Fruit Bat

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-20
Assessor(s): Juste, J.
Reviewer(s): Mildenstein, T.
Contributor(s): Hutson, A.M. & Bergmans, W.
This is a is range-restricted species. It is endemic to the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, where it is known from a single location. It is assessed Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 750 km², it is known from less than five locations, and there is continuing decline in habitat quality inferred due to intense logging activities and the conversion of land to agricultural use.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the uplands of São Tomé Island (São Tomé and Príncipe). It is absent from the northern part of the island. It has only been recorded from three localities, and no colonies have been reported. Animals have been recorded between 300 and 1,300 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Sao Tomé and Principe (Sâo Tomé)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):300
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Nothing is known about the social structure of the species and it seems to show no sexual dimorphism. Individuals were always captured in mountain passes along most possibly commuting flights. Recent bat surveys with mistnets in primary and secondary forests as well as in cocoa plantations have failed to capture the species again (C. Meyer, pers. comm). It appears to be a naturally rare species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has been recorded from montane and steep rocky, and steep sided areas. Animals have been reported from montane tropical moist forest (at 1,300 m asl), tropical lowland forest (Feiler [1984] recorded a specimen from natural forest at 800 m asl), from an area with remnants of original vegetation (just north of Pico de São Tomé) (Sayer et al. 1992), and from cocoa plantations. The species appears to prefer the forested mountain zones but may be found to live in plantation areas and avoids the coastal zone and the northern dry part of the island. (Juste and Ibáñez 1994, Bergmans 1997). The species is unique in being the only extant mammal presenting an asymetrical dental formula fixed in the population (Juste and Ibáñez, 1993).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Within its relatively limited range, this species is threatened by ongoing habitat loss, presumably related to logging activities and the conversion of land to agricultural use.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There appear to be no direct conservation measures in place. It is not confirmed  if the species is present in any protected areas, although is expected in mountain forest  within the protected area of Lagoa Amelia. There is a need to protect suitable areas of remaining natural habitat for this species, with additional research required into the persistence of populations in modified habitats (such as cocoa plantations). Further surveys are needed to identify additional localities for this species, and to better understand its natural history, potential seasonal movements within the island and ecological requirements.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
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
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Bergmans, W. 1997. Taxonomy and Biogeography of African Fruit Bats (Mammalia, Megachiroptera). 5. The genera Lissonycteris Andersen, 1912, Myonycteris Matschie, 1899 and Megaloglossus Pagenstecher, 1885; General remarks and conclusions; Annex: Key to all species. Beaufortia 47(2): 11-90.

Feiler, A. 1984. Über die Saugetiere der Insel São Tomé. Zool. Abhand. Mus. Tierkunde 40: 75-87.

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

Juste, J. and Ibanez, C. 1994. Bats of the Gulf of Guinea islands: faunal composition and origins. Biodiversity and Conservation 3: 837-850.

Sayer, J. A., Harcourt, C. S. and Collins, N. M. 1992. The Conservation Atlas of Tropical Forests: Africa. IUCN and Simon and Schuster, Cambridge, 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.

Citation: Juste, J. 2016. Myonycteris brachycephala. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14097A22046657. . Downloaded on 26 October 2016.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided