Species diversity of bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in Iwokrama Forest, Guyana, and the Guianan subregion: implications for conservation

Authors: Lim, B.K.; Engstrom, M.D.

Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 10, Number 4, April 2001 , pp. 613-657(45)

Publisher: Springer

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Fourteen species of bats are reported for the first time from Guyana (Saccopteryx gymnura, Micronycteris brachyotis, M. homezi, Lichonycteris obscura, Anoura latidens, Vampyressa pusilla, Vampyrodes caraccioli, Eptesicus chiriquinus, Cynomops paranus, Molossops neglectus, Molossus sp., Molossus coibensis, Molossus sinaloae, and Promops centralis) bringing the known bat diversity for the country to 121 species. Information including measurements, reproductive data, distribution, and taxonomy are provided for these species. Seven of these new records were collected in the Iwokrama International Rain Forest Programme site in central Guyana. Eighty-six bat species are now documented from Iwokrama Forest which is the highest species diversity for bats reported from any protected area in the world. There are, however, few tropical sites that have relatively complete inventories. A summary for bat species diversity in southern Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana indicates that at least 146 species of bats are known from the Guianan subregion. Intense inventory surveys, especially in the often neglected subcanopy, suggest that species richness is probably underestimated in most Neotropical areas. Likewise, species-level diversity in the Guianan subregion is higher than previously suggested. Surveying and monitoring biodiversity are critical to developing a National Protected Areas System in Guyana.

Keywords: Chiroptera; Guianan subregion; Guyana; Iwokrama Forest; bats

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C6, Canada

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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