Lutra 47(1)_Vanitharani et al_2004

A review of the distribution and status of Latidens salimalii (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) with new records from the Western Ghats, India

Salim Ali’s fruit bat (Latidens salimalii) is endemic to southern India and is classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN. This classification is based on an assessment of the species in 1996 when only seven individuals had been recorded, all of which were from the High Wavy Mountains in the state of Tamil Nadu. This paper documents the expansion in the known range of Latidens and includes details of four further localities at which the bat has been found together with information on the species’ reproductive status and diet. As the increase in recorded numbers and distribution of the taxon calls into question the validity of Latidens’ current classification, an argument is put forward for a reassessment of the species’ status that concludes in a recommendation that Latidens salimalii be reclassified as Endangered.