Bats of the Caribbean

The bat fauna of the Caribbean region is diverse.

For the purposes of this article, the "Caribbean" includes all islands in the Caribbean Sea (except for small islets close to the mainland) and the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Barbados, which are not in the Caribbean Sea but biogeographically belong to the same Caribbean bioregion.

Overview

The genera of Caribbean bats are classified as follows:[1]

Greater Antilles and associated islands

The four islands of the Greater Antilles, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, and the surrounding smaller islands are home to a diverse indigenous bat fauna.

Cuba

Cuba, the largest of the Antilles, and its surrounding islands, of which the Isla de la Juventud is the most significant, harbor a diverse bat fauna.

Isla de la Juventud

Isla de la Juventud is a large island south of Cuba and politically part of it.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is the largest of the Cayman Islands, a group of British islands west of Jamaica and south of Cuba.

Little Cayman

Little Cayman, also part of the Cayman Islands, is located east of Grand Cayman and just west of Cayman Brac.

Cayman Brac

Cayman Brac is the easternmost of the Cayman Islands.

Jamaica

Navassa Island

Navassa Island is a small United States island between Jamaica and Hispaniola.

Hispaniola

Hispaniola, the second largest of the Antilles, is politically divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Various bats are known from both the main island and several surrounding islands, including Gonâve Island.

Gonâve

Gonâve Island is an island off western Haiti.

Puerto Rico

Several bats are known from Puerto Rico, the easternmost of the Greater Antilles, which is under United States sovereignty.

Leeward Islands

The Leeward Islands form the northern segment of the Lesser Antilles.

U.S. Virgin Islands

The United States Virgin Islands are a group of islands east of Puerto Rico, centered around the three main islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix.

St. Croix

St. Thomas

St. John

British Virgin Islands

Anguilla

Anguilla is a British island.

Saint Martin

The island of Saint Martin is divided into a French and a Dutch part.

Saint Barthelemy

Saba

Sint Eustatius

Sint Eustatius is a small island near Saint Kitts that is part of the Netherlands.

Saint Kitts

Saint Kitts forms the nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis together with nearby Nevis.

Nevis

Nevis is the second main island of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Antigua

Antigua forms Antigua and Barbuda together with Barbuda.

Barbuda

Barbuda is the other main island of Antigua and Barbuda.

Montserrat

Montserrat is a small British island.

Guadeloupe

The double island of Guadeloupe, which consists of two parts separated only by a narrow channel, is the core of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe.

La Désirade

La Désirade is a small island east of Guadeloupe.

Marie Galante

Marie Galante is a smaller island that politically belongs to nearby Guadeloupe.

Dominica

Dominica, the southernmost of the Leeward Islands, is an independent state.

Windward Islands

The bat fauna of the Windward Islands is more diverse than that of the Leeward Islands, reflecting the islands' location closer to the South American mainland.

Martinique

Martinique is a French overseas department.

Saint Lucia

The island of Saint Lucia is an independent state.

Saint Vincent

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an independent state, composed of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern portion of the Grenadines.

Grenadines

Grenada

The island of Grenada, the southernmost of the main island chain of the Lesser Antilles, is part of an independent state that also comprises the southern Grenadines, including Carriacou.

Barbados

Barbados lies east of the main island chain of the Lesser Antilles.

Trinidad

Trinidad, the larger island of Trinidad and Tobago, is close to mainland Venezuela and as a result has a very diverse bat fauna, including over 60 species, more than on any other Caribbean island, including much larger islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola.[88]

Tobago

Tobago is the smaller of the main islands of Trinidad and Tobago, located to the northeast of Trinidad.

ABC islands

The ABC islands are three islands off northwestern Venezuela that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Bonaire

Bonaire is the easternmost of the ABC islands.

Curaçao

Curaçao is the largest of the ABC islands.

Aruba

Aruba is the smallest of the ABC islands and the closest to the mainland.

Miscellaneous

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a group of islands near the Florida mainland.

Bahamas

The Bahamas are a large archipelago north of Cuba and east of Florida.

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a group of British islands east of the Bahamas.

Cozumel

Cozumel is a large island near the mainland of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. In addition to the species listed here, Centurio senex, a species of Corynorhinus (possibly C. mexicanus), Glossophaga soricina, Mimon cozumelae, and Molossus rufus have also been mentioned for the island, but the specimens these records were based on may have come from mainland Mexico instead.[159]

Lighthouse Reef

Lighthouse Reef is a coral atoll off Belize.

Roatán

Roatán is a Honduran island in the southern Caribbean.

San Andrés

San Andrés is a Colombian island, part of the department of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, isolated in the southwestern Caribbean.

Providencia

Providencia, also known as Old Providence, is another Colombian island in the San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina department.

Escudo de Veraguas

Escudo de Veraguas is a small island off northwestern Panama. Despite the fact that it has been isolated from the mainland for only 9000 years, it supports at least two mammals that occur nowhere else, including the bat Artibeus incomitatus and a sloth, Bradypus pygmaeus.[168] Several other mammals on the island also differ from mainland forms.[169]

Isla Margarita

Isla Margarita is the largest island of Venezuela. Like Trinidad and Tobago, Isla Margarita is a land-bridge island with a relatively diverse bat fauna.

See also

References

Literature cited

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