Abstract

Introduction: The “tintal” is a type of seasonally inundated forest where the dominant species is Haematoxylum campechianum L. Due to its structural characteristics and the conditions of the areas where it develops, it could work as a critical habitat for many animal species. Objective: This work aimed at describing the regional and local diversity of the chiropterofauna inhabiting tintal along different areas in the Southeastern Mexico. Methods: The research was carried out in eight localities with presence of tintal in the states of Campeche and Tabasco, Mexico. In each site, six mist nets were placed during three nights. The observed and expected richness were calculated for each site, as well as the total abundance. Rank-abundance and species accumulation curves were generated. Similarity analyses between localities were performed and correlated with the geographical distance between them. Results: We recorded 25 bat species distributed in five families, where Phyllostomidae was the most represented. Most registered species were insectivorous (44 % of the total), while frugivorous were the most abundant. Frugivorous Artibeus lituratus and A. jamaicensis were the species recorded in a greater number of localities, and Glossophaga soricina was the most abundant. The highest richness of species was registered in Oxpemul (N= 12), while in Las Bodegas we found the lowest (N= 4), although the latter was the third locality with the highest number of individuals. The estimated richness of species for the whole area varied between 29 and 34. The least equitable communities were Las Bodegas and Tres Brazos. The most similar localities in terms of the structure of the community were La Toza and Las Bodegas and, in terms of the species composition, Oxpemul and Atasta. The similarities between the localities were not correlated with geographical proximity. Conclusions: Most of the researched localities were highly anthropized, but the tolerance of several bat species to these landscape modifications has allowed them to make use of such areas. The high abundance of the frugivorous species registered supports that bats may play a key role in the recovery of tree vegetation in altered areas in Southeastern Mexico, and emphasizes the value of the tintal along this area for the conservation of biodiversity.

Keywords: Chiroptera, critical habitat, Haematoxylum campechianum, key species, logwood