Taphozous kapalgensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Emballonuridae

Scientific Name: Taphozous kapalgensis McKean & Friend, 1979
Common Name(s):
English Arnhem Sheath-tailed Bat, Arnham Tomb Bat

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-07-31
Assessor(s): Armstrong, K., Burbidge, A.H., Milne, D., Reardon, T. & Woinarsky, J.
Reviewer(s): Lumsden, L.

Population size and trends of Taphozous kapalgensis are relatively poorly known. No major threats have been identified, the population is probably stable, and while it seems limited to the western Top End of the Northern Territory in Australia, it does not meet threatened criteria with regard to extent of occurrence and evidence for a decline (Woinarski et al. 2014). It is probably more widespread than earlier work suggests (Milne and Pavey 2011).

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is found in wet-dry tropics of the western Top End of the Northern Territory, Australia (Milne et al. 2003), but it may be more widespread further east across the Top End (Milne and McKean 2008, Milne and Pavey 2011). There are records of echolocation calls from the eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia near Kununurra and nearby over the border in the Northern Territory (Lumsden et al. 2005).

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species has been recorded from a total of 19 sites (Milne and Pavey 2011), and it is likely to be more common than records suggest (Milne et al. 2003). Acoustic surveys have the potential to detect it because its echolocation call is distinct though sometimes difficult to distinguish unambiguously (Milne 2002).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

It has been recorded from floodplains, mangroves, patchy monsoon forests, and nearby woodlands. The roosting habitats are not clear. Because it has been recorded in the Northern Territory up to 70 km from the nearest rocky habitats, it is likely to roost in tree hollows or similar situations (Milne et al. 2003), and some Aboriginal people claim that it roosts at the base of Pandanus leaves. The species flies above the tree canopy, but it may be found closer to the ground in open areas (Milne and McKean 2008).


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to the species include large-scale modification from invasion of large areas of coastal floodplain by introduced plant species, replacement of natural floodplain vegetation with introduced pasture species, degradation of habitats by Water Buffalo, and saltwater intrusion into the coastal plains resulting in the deaths of large stands of Melaleuca trees (Milne et al. 2003). If this species was found to roost in Pandanus, then fire may also be a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been recorded from Kakadu National Park (Milne and McKean 2008). It is also found in Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve and Point Stuart Coastal Reserve (Woinarski and Milne 2005). Further studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, natural history, and threats to this little-known species, particularly regarding roost sites.

Citation: Armstrong, K., Burbidge, A.H., Milne, D., Reardon, T. & Woinarsky, J. 2017. Taphozous kapalgensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T21458A22110830. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
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