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Mormopterus planiceps

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA MOLOSSIDAE

Scientific Name: Mormopterus planiceps
Species Authority: (Peters, 1866)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Free-tailed Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Mormopterus planiceps is widely regarded as a species complex. Adams et al. (1988) recognized two species on the basis of allozyme data within M. planiceps, but these were never formally described or named (M. sp. 3 and M. sp. 4 in Adams et al. 1988). An additional species recognized by Adams et al. occurs along easternmost Australia and is also part of the traditional M. planiceps species group (M. sp. 2 in Adams et al. 1988; T. Reardon pers. comm.). Even within these unnamed taxa (i.e., M. sp. 2, M. sp. 3, M. sp. 4) there are likely to be further splits. Most notably M. sp. 4 probably contains two species that reflect its distribution – M. sp. 4 is thought to occur in two disjunct regions (southwestern Australia and southeastern Australia) (N. McKenzie pers. comm.). Maps, and indeed separate common names, for these taxa can be found in Menkhorst (2001).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hall, L., Lumsden, L., McKenzie, N., Pennay, M. & Reardon, T.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team), Racey, P.A., Medellín, R. & Hutson, A.M. (Chiroptera Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because, although the taxonomic status of separate populations has yet to be adequately resolved, the species sensu lato has a wide distribution, large population, occurs in a number of protected areas, and is not believed to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a threatened category. Moreover, the separate taxa, recognized as species by Adams et al. (1988), were each assessed as Least Concern in 2005 when experts applied the IUCN Red List Criteria to them.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Australia. It occurs from eastern Queensland south to Victoria and across much of the southern and central portions of the country to south-western Australia, with the exception of the Nullarbor Plain.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Indonesia (Papua)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a common species. However, in portions of its range it is uncommon (e.g., in the north-east and parts of its westernmost range).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species has been recorded from a wide range of habitats including forests, open woodland, mallee, and shrubland. It is often more common in wet habitats. It forages predominantly on insects at canopy level or over open land. These bats roost in tree-hollows, roof cavities, lengths of waterpipe, as well as other man made structures. Colonies contain up to about 100 animals. Captive individuals have been known to live for 15 years (L. Lumsden pers. comm.). Females usually give birth to a single young.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. In portions of its range, however, it is threatened by habitat destruction. In the eastern parts of its range clearance of forest for agriculture and coastal development are threats (L. Hall and M. Pennay pers. comm.), and in parts of the west clearing for agriculture, degradation of woodland habitat, and salinification of habitat adversely affect the species (N. McKenzie pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in a number of protected areas throughout Australia. The most urgent research need is to assess the species limits within this complex and formally describe species that are likely within it.

Citation: Hall, L., Lumsden, L., McKenzie, N., Pennay, M. & Reardon, T. 2008. Mormopterus planiceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 December 2014.
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