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Home arrow Environment arrow Bats in the Anthropocene: Conservation of Bats in a Changing World

The Continuing Age of Discovery

Taxonomy is not a dead science; the Age of Discovery is ongoing, especially for bats (Fig. 16.1). The number of bats discovered in the last couple of decades is higher than expected when compared to other mammalian orders (Reeder et al. 2007). With each subsequent volume of Mammal Species of the World (Honacki et al. 1982; Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005), the number of recognized bat species has increased dramatically, with new species described from every corner of the world. Between publication of the last edition in 2005 and the end of 2013, nearly 200 new bat species were described or resurrected from synonymy, including 120 species new to science (Table 16.1), putting the total number of bat species at just over 1300 at the time of writing of this chapter. The continuing high rate of discovery (or recognition) of new bats can be a potential impediment to conservation since it is difficult to assess the status of each newly discovered species within a short period of time, and because it is difficult to make management plans in the absence of abundance or natural history information (both of which are typically lacking for newly recognized taxa). However, new discoveries may clarify the status of isolated populations, and the recognition of these distinct species can allow appropriate conservation and management strategies to be crafted.

Fig. 16.1 Number of new bat species described per decade since 1750. Species were categorized to zoogeographic region (as defined by Newton 2003) of discovery according to type localities. Species since 2010 only reflect discoveries prior to the writing of this chapter (early 2014). New species are constantly being described from the tropics, with rates of discovery in the Afrotropics and Indo-Malayan regions catching up with the Neotropics

Family

Species

Year

Family

Species

Year

Phyllostomidae

Anoura cadenai

2006

Vespertilionidae

Barbastella beijingensis

2007

Anoura carashina

2010

Eptesicus lobatus

2009

Anoura fistulata

2005

Eptesicus taddei

2006

Carollia benkeithei

2006

Glischropus bucephalus

2011

Carollia manu

2004

Harpiola isodon

2006

Carollia monohernandezi

2004

Hypsugo lanzai

2011

Chiroderma vizottoi

2010

Kerivoula kachinensis

2004

Dryadonycterix capixaba

2012

Kerivoula titania

2007

Lonchophylla cadenai

2006

Murina balaensis

2013

Lonchophylla chocoana

2004

Murina beelzebub

2011

Lonchophylla fornicata

2007

Murina bicolor

2009

Lonchophylla orcesi

2005

Murina chrysochaetes

2011

Lonchophylla orienticollina

2009

Murina eleryi

2009

Lonchophylla pattoni

2006

Murina fionae

2012

Lonchophylla peracchii

2013

Murina gracilis

2009

Lophostoma kalkoae

2012

Murina guilleni

2013

Lophostoma yasuni

2004

Murina harpioloides

2008

Micronycteris buriri

2011

Murina harrisoni

2005

Micronycteris giovaniae

2007

Murina jaintiana

2012

Micronycteris yatesi

2013

Murina lorelieae

2011

Platyrrhinus albericoi

2005

Murina pluvialis

2012

Platyrrhinus angustirostris

2010

Murina recondita

2009

Platyrrhinus fusciventris

2010

Murina shuipuensis

2011

Platyrrhinus guianensis

2014

Murina tiensa

2007

Platyrrhinus ismaeli

2005

Murina walstoni

2011

(continued)

Table 16.1 (continued)

Family

Species

Year

Family

Species

Year

Platyrrhinus masu

2005

Myotis annatessae

2013

Platyrrhinus matapalensis

2005

Myotis badius

2011

Platyrrhinus nitelinea

2009

Myotis dieteri

2005

Sturnira bakeri

2014

Myotis diminutus

2011

Sturnira burtonlimi

2014

Myotis handleyi

2013

Sturnira koopmanhilli

2006

Myotis indochinensis

2013

Sturnira perla

2011

Myotis izecksohni

2011

Sturnira sorianoi

2005

Myotis lavali

2011

Uroderma bakeri

2014

Myotis midastactus

2014

Xeronycteris vieirai

2005

Myotis phanluongi

2008

Emballonuridae

Coleura kibomalandy

2012

Neoromicia robertsi

2012

Paraemballonura tiavato

2006

Neoromicia roseveari

2013

Peropteryx pallidoptera

2010

Nyctophilus corbeni

2009

Thyropteridae

Thyroptera devivoi

2006

Nyctophilus shirleyae

2009

Thyroptera wynneae

2014

Pipistrellus hanaki

2004

Molossidae

Chaerephon atsinanana

2010

Pipistrellus raceyi

2006

Chaerophon jobimena

2004

Plecotus strelkovi

2005

Eumops wilsoni

2009

Rhogeessa bickhami

2012

Molossus alvarezi

2011

Rhogeessa menchuae

2012

Mops bakarii

2008

Scotophilus andrewreborii

2014

Mormopterus eleryi

2008

Scotophilus ejetai

2014

Mormopterus francoismoutoui

2008

Scotophilus livingstonii

2014

Mormopterus halli

2014

Scotophilus marovaza

2006

Mormopterus kitcheneri

2014

Scotophilus tandrefana

2005

Mormopterus lumsdenae

2014

Scotophilus trujilloi

2014

(continued)

Family

Species

Year

Family

Species

Year

Pteropodidae

Casinycteris campomaanensis

2014

Tylonycteris pygmaeus

2008

Desmalopex microleucopterus

2008

Natalidae

Natalus lanatus

2005

Dyacopterus rickartii

2007

Myzopodidae

Myzopoda schliemanni

2006

Epomorphorus anselli

2004

Miniopteridae

Miniopterus aelleni

2008

Pteralopex flanneryi

2005

Miniopterus brachytragos

2009

Pteropus allenorum

2009

Miniopterus egeri

2011

Pteropus coxi

2009

Miniopterus griffithsi

2009

Styloctenium mindorensis

2007

Miniopterus mahafaliensis

2009

Thoopterus suhaniahae

2012

Miniopterus maghrebensis

2014

Rhinolophidae

Rhinolophus chiewkweeae

2005

Miniopterus mossambicus

2013

Rhinolophus cohenae

2012

Miniopterus petersoni

2008

Rhinolophus huananus

2008

Miniopterus sororculus

2007

Rhinolophus indorouxi

2013

Hipposideridae

Asellia arabica

2011

Rhinolophus kahuzi

2013

Hipposideros boeadi

2007

Rhinolophus mabuensis

2012

Hipposideros einnaythu

2011

Rhinolophus mossambicus

2012

Hipposideros griffini

2012

Rhinolophus schnitzleri

2011

Hipposideros khaokhouayensis

2006

Rhinolophus smithersi

2012

Hipposideros khasiana

2006

Rhinolophus willardi

2013

Paratriaenops pauliani

2008

Rhinolophus xinanzhongguoensis

2009

Triaenops menamena

2009

Rhinopomatidae

Rhinopoma hadramauticum

2009

Triaenops parvus

2009

Most species discoveries in the past decade have been made in Neotropical families, though more genetic and phonic data on Rhinolophidae and Hipposideridae are now uncovering greater species diversity in the Paleotropics

Species discoveries and recognition may bring attention to previously overlooked areas or act as a symbol of local pride. For example, in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, a sixteenth-century Khmer pagoda in Soc Trang City called Wat Matahup, or Chua Doi—the Bat Pagoda—is home to a mixed colony of thousands of flying foxes (Pteropus vampyrus and Pteropus lylei), which are listed by the IUCN as Near Threatened and Vulnerable, respectively. The pagoda is a cultural and historic icon and the only pagoda in the region with a resident bat colony. The locals feel a sense of pride, as these rare bats roost only in the trees within the temple grounds. Monks actively protect the bats from increasing hunting pressure. This interest has resulted in the creation of bat and sustainability education campaigns by locals. These programs are aimed at educating young children on the importance of the bats to the ecosystem.

 
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