Chaerephon pumilus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Molossidae

Scientific Name: Chaerephon pumilus (Cretzschmar, 1826)
Common Name(s):
English Little Free-tailed Bat, Lesser Free-tailed Bat, Little Wrinkle-lipped Bat, White-bellied Free-tailed Bat
Chaerephon leucogaster (A. Grandidier, 1870)
Chaerephon pumila (Cretzschmar, 1826) [orth. error]
Chaerephon pusillus (Miller, 1902)
Tadarida leucogaster (Grandidier, 1869)
Tadarida pumila (Cretzschmar, 1826)
Tadarida pusilla (Miller, 1902)
Taxonomic Notes: We provisionally treat Chaerephon pusillus as a synonym of C. pumila, following Simmons (2005). However, there is evidence that it might be distinct from C. pumilus (Hill 1971, Hutson 2004, Goodman 2007), and so the status of this taxon needs to be reviewed. If it is shown to be a distinct species, it would probably qualify for inclusion in a threatened IUCN Red List Category, as it is endemic to the island of Aldabra. We follow Happold (2013) by including leucogaster in C. pumilus. The species was treated by Happold (2013) under the genus Tadarida, but is now transferred back to Chaerephon.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A., Ravino, J., Bergmans, W., Cotterill, F.P.D. & Gerlach, J.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. & Cox, N.A.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This widespread species is found from Senegal in the west of its range, eastwards to Yemen and southwestern Saudi Arabia, and as far south as South Africa. It has been recorded from the island of Bioko and the Annobon Islands (Equatorial Guinea), Pemba and Zanzibar (Tanzania), the Comoros Islands, Mayotte (Goodman 2007), and Madagascar (Bouchard 1998) and on the Aldabra Atoll of the Seychelles (Hutson 2004). In Madagascar, the species is restricted to the humid areas of the island (in the north and east) and can be found up to 1,300 m asl. Its southernmost range in Madagascar is not well understood and it has not been recorded south of Moramanga (Goodman and Cardiff 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea (Annobón, Bioko); Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mayotte; Mozambique; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Sao Tomé and Principe (Sâo Tomé); Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Seychelles (Aldabra); Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The colonies of this species range from a few animals (between 5 and 20) to hundreds of individuals. There are no estimates of its population in Madagascar but it is thought to be locally common in the eastern zone. On Aldabra, the population might be fewer than 250 animals.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Bouchard (1998) indicates that this species is found in a variety of habitats from semi-arid regions in the north of its range to cleared rainforest regions in the south (Happold, 1987). It occurs widely in the savannas of Guinea and Sudan, and in the forests of the Congo basin of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is found in savanna woodlands in Zambia, and in the Cape Province of South Africa they occur in mountainous areas in the Cape Macchia Zone as well as in more arid open country further. In Zimbabwe the species shows a clear preference for low veld conditions and it is never taken on the plateau above 1,000 m asl (Smithers 1983). In KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, it is largely restricted to the Valley bushveld, lowveld and Coast lowland bioregions. Although the species appears to prefer forest or savanna woodlands outside built-up areas, its presence in built-up areas is determined solely by the availability of suitable roofs and buildings for roosting. In Madagascar, it is known from the eastern humid rainforests, where it has been recorded from buildings and houses. It is not thought to be a habitat specialist as it has been recorded in villages both near intact forest and in areas that are heavily degraded. On Aldabra the habitat is dry tropical shrub, it roosts in trees with a single roost of 30 animals recorded. Preferred roosting sites include horizontal surfaces of rafters, between rafters and brickwork, in the corrugations of corrugated roofs, between the roof tiles and the insulating material underneath as well as in air vents. In Madagascar it is often found roosting in buildings close to forests; however, this may reflect a bias in sampling methods. Natural roosts are hollows and crevices in trees, the crowns of various species of palms (see references in Bouchard 1998).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species. In some parts of its range, it is threatened from persecution as a pest, especially since it roosts in buildings.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In view of its wide range it seems probable that this species is present in some protected areas. On Madagascar, it has not been recorded from any protected areas, but it has been recorded from houses close to protected areas. The status of the population on Aldabra need to be clarified with complementary research needed into the conservation status of this population.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Bouchard, S. 1998. Chaerephon pumilus. Mammalian Species 574: 1-6.

Doggart, N., Joseph, L., Bayliss, J. and Fanning, E. 1999. Manga Forest Reserve: A biodiversity survey. East Usambara Conservation Area Management Programme, Technical Paper 41. Forestry and Beekeeping Division, Finnish Forest and Park Service and the Society for Environmental Exploration, Dar es Salaam, Vantaa and London.

Goodman, S.M. 2007. Final report for the project entitled, "Survey of microchiropteran bats of islands in the western Indian Ocean". CABS at Conservation International on 28 August 2007.

Goodman, S.M. and Cardiff, S.G. 2004. A new species of Chaerophon (Molossidae) from Madagascar with notes on other members of the family. Acta Chiropterologica 6: 227-248.

Happold, D.C.D. 1987. The Mammals of Nigeria. Oxford University Press, London, UK.

Happold, M. 2013. Tadaria pumila. In: M. Happold and D.C.D. Happold (eds), The Mammals of Africa, VolumeIV Hedgehogs, Shrews, and Bats, Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Harrison, D.L. and Bates, P.J.J. 1991. The Mammals of Arabia. Harrison Zoological Museum, Sevenoaks, UK.

Hill, J.E. 1971. The bats of the Aldabra atoll, Western Indian Ocean. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 260: 573-576.

Hutson, A. M. 2004. The bats of Aldabra atoll, Seychelles. Phelsuma 12: 126-132.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2014).

Peterson, R.L., Eger, J.L. and Mitchell, L. 1995. Faune de Madagascar. Chiropteres. Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.

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.

Smithers, R. H. N. 1983. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion. University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

von Brandis, R. 2004. A summary of recent bat records from Aldabra atoll. Phelsuma 12: 133-135.

Weber, N. and Fahr, J. 2007. Survey of endemic and globally threatened bat species in the Fouta Djallon Highlands for conservation priorities in Guinea. Van Tienhoven Foundation for International Nature Protection and Conservation International's Critical Species Fund, Ulm University .

Citation: Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A., Ravino, J., Bergmans, W., Cotterill, F.P.D. & Gerlach, J. 2014. Chaerephon pumilus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T4317A67362329. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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