Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Large-Eared Pie Bat, Chalinolobus dwyeri

The large-eared pie bat (Chalinolobus dwyeri) is a vesper bat that can be found only in Australia. Its range is limited to a few areas in southeastern Queensland and eastern areas of New South Wales. It prefers a habitat in moist and arid sclerophyll forests, subalpine woodlands, rainforest edges, and Eucalypt forests with rainforest type canopies. It is thought to depend on sandstone ridges with nearby woodlands in order to survive, but it can also be found roosting in abandoned mine shafts, caves, and fairy martin nests. One recorded maternity roosting site contains between fifteen and twenty females that can give birth to one or two pups.

The large-eared pie bat is thought to be a rare species, occurring most often in northern areas of New South Wales, and it has a decreasing population trend. However, current records show that this bat may be more numerous than previously thought. The main threats to this species are habitat destruction caused by coal mining and roost disturbances caused by many factors including goats. Feral predation and deforestation may also pose a threat to it. It does appear in protected areas, although more protection of roost sites is needed. More research is also needed regarding the habitats and threats of this species in order to properly evaluate its need for conservation. The large-eared pie bat currently appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Near Threatened.”

Image Caption: Large-eared Pied Bat (Chalinolobus dwyeri) caught in harp trap. Credit: Doug Beckers/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Large-Eared Pie Bat Chalinolobus dwyeri