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Mastozoología neotropical

versión impresa ISSN 0327-9383versión On-line ISSN 1666-0536


VARGAS-MENA, Juan Carlos et al. Diversity of cave bats in the brazilian tropical dry forest of Rio Grande do Norte State. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2018, vol.25, n.1, pp.199-212. ISSN 0327-9383.

Caves are important roosts for bats in karstic areas and play a critical role in the protection of bat populations. In the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in northeastern Brazil, cave-dwelling bats are poorly studied. Moreover, the state contains more than 900 caves, mainly in the Caatinga biome, that may offer important roosts for local bat populations. Thus, to gain a first insight into the richness, diversity, and colony size of cave-bats in the state, we sampled 13 caves through active search and captures with mist nets. Sixteen species from five families were recorded, and the biggest colonies belonged to Pteronotus gymnonotus and Phyllostomus discolor. Furna Feia cave was the richest, with 10 species. Our results showed that Rio Grande do Norte is home to a rich and abundant diversity of cave bats, including vulnerable species like Furipterus horrens, Natalus macrourus, and Lonchorhina aurita. This study is the first to determine the diversity of RN cave bats, providing useful fundamental data for future conservation actions.

Palabras clave : Assemblage; Caatinga; Cave-dwelling bats; Colony size; Richness.

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