Humans have severely impacted populations of Natalus. Fossils show that today's very patchy distribution reflects past extinctions of formerly more-widespread populations. Cave-inhabiting humans may have been especially damaging, but
The small-footed funnel-eared bat (Natalus micropus) is the smallest bat in the Americas. (Photo by Brock Fenton. Reproduced by permission.)
many populations were probably affected by post-ice age climatic change and sea level rises that flooded caves and altered the environment within those that remained.
1. Bahamian funnel-eared bat (Natalus tumidifrons); 2. Gervais' funnel-eared bat or butterfly bat (Natalus lepidus); 3. Small-footed funnel-eared bat (Natalus micropus); 4. Funnel-eared bat (Natalus stramineus); 5. White-bellied funnel-eared bat (Natalus tumidirostris). (Illustration by Michelle Meneghini)
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