West Indian bats include 49 living species (8 of which
have been extirpated from one or more of the Antillean islands but survive elsewhere), and
5 extinct species. All five extinct species have living representatives in their
respective genera. It has often been suggested that the low extinction rate of
bats compared to terrestrial taxa is due to their high vagility and re-colonization
abilities, but their high degree of endemism argues against this. It is more likely that
the resilience of the bat fauna is a function of their ecological isolation from the
impacts of introduced terrestrial species such as rats, the mongoose, cats and goats.