Recently recognised as a distinct species, the Jamaican greater funnel-eared bat is known from a single locality; St. Clair cave in central Jamaica – where the surviving population numbers fewer than 100 individuals, and covering a range of extent of less than 100km².
The cave also contains a resident population of feral cats which are known to feed on bats. The Jamaican greater funnel-eared bat is particularly vulnerable because it roosts low down on cave walls. Their surrounding habitat that supports their insectivorous diet is declining, with habitat being lost, and that remaining being degraded. The highly restricted geographic range, low population numbers and predation threat make this species highly vulnerable to extinction. However there are no invasive predator control measures or any other official protection currently in place at St Clair Cave. This species is a member of a small, ancient family of cave-dwelling bats that evolved in the West Indies.
- Order: Chiroptera
- Family: Natalidae
- Population: < 100
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 35-55 mm
- Weight: 4-10g
Today the species is known from a single “hot cave”, St. Clair Cave in central Jamaica, although it has also been recorded from other cave sites across Jamaica in the recent fossil record.
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in a very dry and arid area, with xerophytic (dry-adapted) vegetation. They roost in caves, and they are insectivores.