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Published in Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 41, No. 4, 744-760, 2005. Copyright 2005 College of Arts and Sciences. Used by permission.


Only four species of bats have been previously reported from the Antillean island of St. Kitts—Noctilio leporinus, Artibeus jamaicensis, Molossus molossus, and Tadarida brasiliensis. Our field research reported herein adds three species to this list—Monophyllus plethodon, Ardops nichollsi, and Brachyphylla cavernarum. These efforts included mist netting in a variety of foraging habitats and extensive surveys of natural and anthropogenic roost sites. We discuss the difficulty in accurately reporting mistnetting effort and capture rates. The average rate of fruit bat captures during 2001 on St. Kitts (1.11 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 the lower end of the range (2.20-5.93 BNN) reported for mainland populations of neotropical fruit bats. We discuss possible causes of these decreased population levels, such as the impact of recent hurricanes and competition from the large population of vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus sabaeus) found on St. Kitts.

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