Chrotopterus auritus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Phyllostomidae

Scientific Name: Chrotopterus auritus
Species Authority: (Peters, 1856)
Common Name(s):
English Woolly False Vampire Bat, Peter’s Woolly False Vampire Bat, Big-eared Wooly Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Simmons and Voss (1998) discussed problems with previously recognised subspecies.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-07-20
Assessor(s): Barquez, R., Perez, S. & Miller, B. and Diaz, M.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, as it occurs in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs from Veracruz (Mexico) south to the Guianas, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and north Argentina (Simmons 2005). It is also found in Paraguay.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is very common. These bats exist in low population density areas and form complex social groups that tend to stay together for several years. Colonies can consist of one to seven individuals, but typically contain three to five individuals (Hill and Smith 1984, Medellin 1989, Kunz and Racy 1998, Nowak 1999). It is rare in Mexico and not so common in Central America.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is a carnivore of dense forest. These bats tend to live near streams and other moist areas in forested lowlands, tropical rainforests, tropical deciduous forests and cloud forests. They have been reported to roost in hollow trees, caves and even Mayan ruins (Medellin 1989, Nowak 1994). There is little known about the mating system of C. auritus (Altringham 1996, Hill and Smith 1984). Big-eared Woolly Bats have low reproduction rates, typically having just one offspring per litter. Females have only been reported to be reproductively active during the second half of the year. Pregnant females, however, have been observed from April until July. This is consistent with a monestrous cycle, varying geographically. One female taken into captivity gave birth to a single young after 99 days. They have a maximum gestation period of 220 days and a maximum weaning time of nine months. The age of reproductive maturity is between one and two years (Medellin 1989, Nowak 1994, Kunz and Racy 1998).

Big-eared Woolly Bats are not exclusively carnivores. In fact, they have a flexible foraging strategy that allows them to eat insects and fruit in addition to extensive consumption of small vertebrates like bats, opossums, mice, birds, lizards and frogs. They have a diet similar to that of Vampyrum spectrum and Trachops cirrhosus. Big-eared Woolly Bats have significant seasonal diet changes. In the wet season they eat more insects because they are more abundant. However, age and sex do not have any effect on what they eat (Hill and Smith 1984, Altringham 1996, Kunz and Racey 1998).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known throughout its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Habitat conservation is recommended. In Mexico, it is listed as threatened under NOM - 059 - SEMARNAT - 2001 (Arroyo-Cabrales pers. comm.). It is found in protected areas.

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
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Marginal  

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

Bibliography [top]

Altringham, J. 1996. Bats: Biology and Behavior. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Hill, J. and Smith, J. 1984. Bats: A Natural History. British Museum (Natural History) and University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, USA.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Kunz, T. and Racey, P. 1998. Bat Biology and Conservation. Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, D. C., U.S.A.

Medellin, R. 1989. Chrotopterus auritus. Mammalian Species 343: 1-5.

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.

Simmons, N.B. and Voss, R.S. 1998. The mammals of Paracou, French Guiana: A Neotropical lowland rainforest fauna. Part 1. Bats. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 237: 1-219.

Citation: Barquez, R., Perez, S. & Miller, B. and Diaz, M. 2015. Chrotopterus auritus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T4811A22042605. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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