Bats of Barbados
Document Type Article
Published in Chiroptera Neotropical 17(2): 963-988, December 2011
The chiropteran fauna of Barbados includes representatives of four families — Noctilionidae, Phyllostomidae, Vespertilionidae, and Molossidae — including 1 piscivore (Noctilio leporinus), 1 omnivore (Brachyphylla cavernarum), 1 pollenivore/nectarivore (Monophyllus plethodon), 1 frugivore (Artibeus jamaicensis), and 2 insectivorous species (Myotis nyctor and Molossus molossus). Despite an early report, we believe that preponderance of the evidence available at this time is that E. fuscus is not part of the fauna of Barbados. The Barbadian chiropteran fauna of 6 species is much smaller than those on the four neighboring Lesser Antillean islands to the west and north. We believe that this is primarily the result of two factors—geological age and geographic isolation. Our work indicates that populations of the 6 species of bats on Barbados are in good condition in all cases, but only for Artibeus jamaicensis and Molossus molossus are the populations large enough to not be of ongoing concern. The maintenance of the chiropteran fauna can best be served by three management actions — preservation of caves and associated gullies, forests, and hydrological systems.