Date of this Version
Six species of bats have been previously reported from the Antillean island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten—Artibeus jamaicensis, Brachyphylla cavernarum, Molossus molossus, Tadarida brasiliensis, Noctilio leporinus, and Myotis nigricans nesopolus. Our field research reported herein documents an additional three species of bats from the island for the first time—Monophyllus plethodon, Ardops nichollsi, and Natalus stramineus. Re-examination of the single voucher of Myotis nigricans nesopolus has led us to exclude this species from the fauna of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. Based on our field research and the study of specimens housed in museum collections, we present information on the eight species of bats that we have documented as occurring on Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. The average rate of fruit bat captures on Saint Martin/Sint Maarten (0.92 bats per net-night— BNN) falls towards the lower end of the range (0.65-2.47 BNN) reported from nearby islands in the northern Lesser Antilles and below the range (2.20-5.93 BNN) reported for mainland populations of Neotropical fruit bats. We discuss possible causes of these decreased population levels and we express some concerns about the future conservation status of the chiropteran fauna of the island.