Syconycteris australis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Syconycteris australis (Peters, 1867)
Common Name(s):
English Common Blossom Bat, Eastern Blossom Bat, Southern Blossom Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Ongoing genetic and morphological studies reveal that Syconycteris australis contains more than one full species, with both allopatric and sympatric taxa (K.N. Armstrong, K.P. Aplin and K.M. Helgen unpublished data).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-02-17
Assessor(s): Aplin, K. & Armstrong, K.
Reviewer(s): Mildenstein, T.
Contributor(s): Helgen, K., Hall, L., Richards, G. & Salas, L.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of the wide distribution and large populations of all identified subtaxa, the lack of any major threats, and the presence of several subtaxa in several protected areas. Although habitat modification and loss are occurring across the range of all subtaxa, all appear to be capable of utilising gardens, and degraded and secondary forests as well as primary forest, hence none are likely to be declining at anywhere near the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This widespread species complex ranges from the Moluccan Islands of Indonesia (including the islands of Ambon, Seram, and Gebe), to the islands of Salawati, Biak and Yapen (all Indonesia), throughout much of the island of New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea), and the Aru Islands (Indonesia). The species is present in the Bismarck Archipelago (including the islands of New Britain and New Ireland; Papua New Guinea), on the island of Manus in the Admiralty Islands (Papua New Guinea), on the D’Entrecasteaux Islands (Papua New Guinea), the Louisiade Archipelago (Papua New Guinea), and is also found in Australia where it ranges through the forests of eastern Queensland and New South Wales (Flannery 1995a,b; Bonaccorso 1998; Law and Spencer 2008). Overall, the species complex occurs from sea level to 3,000 m a.s.l. (Bonaccorso 1998) but there is altitudinal replacement of sibling species with zones of sympatry (K.P. Aplin, K.N. Armstrong and K.M. Helgen unpublished data). In New South Wales, it occurs only at low elevations, typically in the coastal lowlands (M. Pennay pers. comm.).
Countries occurrence:
Australia; Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:All of the component species are common in degraded and secondary forests as well as primary forest. Very high capture rates at some localities suggest high local population densities and/or congregatory behaviour around preferred food resources. In lowland through to upper montane forest habitats members of this species group typically account for the majority of captures in mist nets. Population counts are hindered by the fact that they roost singly or in small groups under foliage and can be difficult to observe due to their excellent camouflage.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:All of the component species are adaptable, and the group as a whole is found in a variety of forest habitats, including upper and lower montane forest, hill forest, lowland rainforest and monsoonal forest, dry sclerophyll woodland and Melaleuca swamps (Bonaccorso 1998, Law and Spencer 2008). It forages commonly through gardens and plantations, and can also be found adjacent to heathland habitats. Females give birth to single young but they can breed more than once annually. L. Hall (pers. comm.) reports that this species in Australia (typical S. australis) roosts in colonies in dense foliage in large-leaved trees. However, numerous observations of roosting animals in Papua New Guinea by K.P. Aplin always involve either single animals or small groups including juveniles. Feeding behaviour is poorly documented but incidental observations suggest that lowland populations in Papua New Guinea feed on a variety of flowering and fruit trees, utilising both nectar and fruit resources.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): All members of this species complex seem to be highly adaptable and tolerant of habitat modification, and therefore there appear to be no major threats to this species in New Guinea and the surrounding island groups. South of Fraser Island in Queensland, coastal development including the drainage of paperbark swamps is a major threat locally (L. Hall pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been recorded from many protected areas.

Citation: Aplin, K. & Armstrong, K. 2016. Syconycteris australis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T21185A22130860. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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