Pipistrellus maderensis 

Scope: Global, Europe & Mediterranean
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Vespertilionidae

Scientific Name: Pipistrellus maderensis (Dobson, 1878)
Common Name(s):
English Madeira Pipistrelle
French Pipistrelle de Madère
Spanish Murciélago de Madeira
Taxonomic Notes: Unidentified Pipistrellus bats found in the Azores have recently been proposed to belong to this species, but this awaits confirmation.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-25
Assessor(s): Alcaldé, J. & Juste, J.
Reviewer(s): Piraccini, R.
Contributor(s): Palmeirim, J.
The species is restricted to few islands in the Canaries and the Madeira islands (and possibly the Azores). The population numbers < 1,000 individuals and it is suspected to be declining as a result of habitat loss, use of agricultural pesticides, and disturbance to roosts. This species is also severely fragmented. It is assessed as Vulnerable (VU C2a(i)) but may be approaching the Endangered category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to Madeira (Madeira, Porto Santo), and the western Canary Islands (La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, Tenerife). Pipistrelles found in the Azores (Santa Maria, Flores, Corvo, Graciosa, San Jorge) probably belong to this species. It is found from sea level to 2,150 m in the Canary Islands, although it prefers lowlands on Madeira (Fajardo and Benzal 1999).
Countries occurrence:
Portugal (Madeira); Spain (Canary Is.)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2150
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:On Madeira and associated islands, it is abundant but very rare on Porto Santo. The total population is estimated to be less than 1,000 individuals, and trends are unknown (Rainho et al. 2002). On the Canary Islands it is relatively common and is the most frequently reported bat on all islands of occurrence, although no bat is abundant on the islands. Population size and trend have not been quantified (Trujillo 2002), although declines are suspected as a result of threats including loss and degradation of habitats, pesticide use, and disturbance and destruction of roosts. On the Azores, Pipistrellus bats are rare or very rare on all islands of occurrence, and the total number of individuals is probably less than 300 (Rainho et al2002).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1-999Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Murciélago de Madeira (Pipistrellus maderensis) forages over a wide range of habitats, including aquatic habitats, woodland and farmland (Trujillo 2002). It feeds on flying insects, including small moths and Diptera. Breeding colonies have been found in crevices in sea-cliffs and underneath the roofs of houses, as well as in bird boxes (Trujillo 2002). Roost sites include rock crevices, bird boxes, and crevices in (often disused) buildings. It is often associated with human settlements, although in contrast with P. pipistrellus in mainland Spain it tends not to be found in parks, gardens, and tree-lined avenues in urban areas in the Canary islands (Trujillo 2002).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):5.2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Restoration of buildings, covering cracks where it roosts, is a threat to the species. Rain-gauges attract dozens of bats which are trapped there and die (Trujillo 2007). Loss of natural habitat may be a threat, although the species is apparently adapted to man-made habitats. The use of agricultural pesticides may be a problem, and disturbance to roosts in buildings may also be of concern.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is protected through Bern Convention, and included in Annex IV of EU Habitats & Species Directive. Rainho and Palmeirim (2002) proposed the following actions: identification, protection and monitoring of roosts; preservation and restoration of natural habitats, reduction of pesticide use; and, study of the species' biology, ecology, genetics, and systematics. Trujillo (2002) additionally recommend a public awareness campaign aimed at reducing disturbance of breeding colonies in private houses.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
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
  Included in international legislation:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.2. Unintentional effects (species is not the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
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]

Fajardo, S. and Benzal, J. 1999. Pipistrellus maderensis. In: A.J. Mitchell-Jones, G. Amori, W. Bogdanowicz, B. Kryštufek, P.J.H. Reijnders, F. Spitzenberger, M. Stubbe, J.B.M. Thissen, V. Vohralík, and J. Zima (eds), The Atlas of European Mammals. Academic Press, London.

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

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Rainho, A. and Palmeirim, J.M. 2002. Arquipelago da Madeira. In Centro de Biologia Ambiental, & Instituto da Conservacao da Natureza (publ) Os Morcegos dos Arquipelagos dos Acores e da Madeira: Um contributo para a sua conservacao..

Rainho, A., Marques, J.T., Palmeirim, J.M. 2002. Os morcegos dos arquipélagos dos Açores e da Madeira: um contributo para a sua conservação. Centro de Biologia Ambiental / Instituto de Conservação de Natureza, Lisboa (and supplements: Rainho 2003 and Rainho 2004)..

Trujillo, D. 2002. Pipistrellus maderensis (Dobson, 1878). Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza-SECEM-SECEMU, Madrid.

Trujillo, D. 2007. Pipistrellus maderensis (Dobson, 1878). Dirección General para la Biodiversidad – SECEM – SECEMU, Madrid.

Trujillo, D. and Barone, C. 1991. La Fauna de Quiropteros del Archipelago Canario. Pp 93-11 in Benzal, J. & La Paz, O. (eds) Los Murcielagos de Espana y Portugal. ICONA, Madrid. 330pp..

Trujillo, D. and González, C. 2011. Pipistrellus maderensis (Dobson, 1878) (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae), a new addition to the Azorean fauna (Atlantic Ocean). Vieraea 39: 215-218.

Citation: Alcaldé, J. & Juste, J. 2016. Pipistrellus maderensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T17315A1380378. . Downloaded on 17 August 2018.
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