Emballonura furax 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Emballonuridae

Scientific Name: Emballonura furax Thomas, 1911
Common Name(s):
English New Guinea Sheath-tailed Bat, Greater Sheath-tailed 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. & Aplin, K.
Reviewer(s): Piraccini, R.
Previous assessments were limited by the availability of information on distribution. In recent years, new records of presence based on captures and recordings of its signature echolocation call, along with regional acoustic surveys, have extended the known and possible range of this species. As a result of this new information, and given the lack of identified key threats, this species does not currently match the criteria for listing as threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Emballonura furax is endemic to New Guinea and nearby islands. It has been recorded from sea level to 1,500 m Asl. In Papua New Guinea, it has been collected from Chimbu, Gulf, Southern Highlands and Western Provinces (Bonaccorso 1998). A prior record from Passam (near Wewak) in East Sepik Province has been reassessed as E. serii (K.P. Aplin and K.M. Helgen unpublished data). More recently, surveys have recorded some captures and the echolocation call in localities with underlying limestone geology between 50–1000 m in Western and Gulf provinces (K.P. Aplin and K.N. Armstrong unpublished data). The only indication of its presence north of the cordillera are echolocation calls from a locality in Morobe Province (K.N. Armstrong unpublished data), whereas extensive surveys in Sandaun (West Sepik) Province failed to detect its characteristic echolocation call type (K.P. Aplin and K.N. Armstrong unpublished data). Within Papua Province, Indonesia, the species has been recorded from the Kapari River of Fakfak District (type locality), Yapen Island, and from Biak Island. Defining the distribution of this species is further complicated by issues of taxonomy and identification of the type. The record from the type locality at the Kapari River suggests that its distribution may extend further west on the southern side of the cordillera in Papua Province, and presence of this species on Yapen and Biak islands suggests that the taxonomic relationships within E. furax and E. serii are not completely understood.

Countries occurrence:
Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No population estimates are available, but the species appears to be reasonably common in parts of Papua New Guinea that have been assessed in the past five years using acoustic methods, including multiple localities in Western and Gulf Provinces at elevations between 100 m and 1,500 m asl (K.N. Armstrong and K.P. Aplin, unpublished data). Across the same area, none have been captured in mist nets or harp traps, and only relatively few individuals have been captured inside caves. The distribution and status of the species in the Indonesian province of Papua is unknown but given that the type locality of furax is Kapari River, it is likely that they are distributed widely across the poorly surveyed country south of the cordillera.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Emballonura furax has been recorded in areas of Lowland Rainforest, Hill Forest and Lower Montane Forest. Acoustic survey data suggest that it can be locally common but it is rarely captured other than by visiting roosts in limestone caves and mining tunnels (Flannery 1995, Bonaccorso 1998, K.N. Armstrong and K.P. Aplin, unpublished data). The spatial pattern of acoustic recordings as well as its wing morphology suggest that it forages in open areas, probably over and amongst canopy. The few encounters with E. furax at roosts have involved small groups of several to a few dozen individuals. The same sites typically contain much larger numbers of E. dianae and/or E. raffrayana. It is not known whether E. furax prefers to roost in deeper chambers of the same cave systems or alternatively, uses a variety of smaller roost types including small rock shelters and fissures. There are no instances of it roosting in tree hollows or epiphtyes but the fact that another sympatric emballonurid Mosia nigrescens uses both cave and vegetation roosts cautions against rejecting this possibility.


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The only significant threat to this species is broad-scale deforestation for forestry and the establishment of plantations. Destruction or major disturbance of roost sites might pose a threat if large communal aggregations feature as part of the species’ reproductive behaviour. A significant part of the species range is made up of rugged karst terrain that is unlikely to be subject to large scale clearance or disturbance.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Roost sites near Crater Mountain in Chimbu Province fall within the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area. Further ecological studies are needed.

Citation: Armstrong, K. & Aplin, K. 2017. Emballonura furax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T7667A22135664. . Downloaded on 24 May 2018.
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