UQ researchers find bat thought extinct for 120 years

A wildlife expedition in remote Papua New Guinea has landed a rare discovery for University of Queensland researchers – the capture of a type of bat thought to have been extinct for the past 120 years.

Students from the UQ School of Agriculture and Food Sciences caught the bat, now known to be a New Guinea Big-eared Bat Pharotis Imogene, about 120km east of the only previous known locality at Kamali in the Abau coastal district of Papua New Guinea’s Central Province.

The bat’s capture appears to be first reported encounter with its species since the first and only specimens were collected in 1890 by an Italian scientist.

We set out to set up traps to catch microbats, detect their calls and to build a reference call library of the area,” Catherine Hughes, a student who caught the specimen, said.

“One day we set up a hard trap on the edge of a logged forest and vast grassland... and luckily enough we caught one.”

The species of the bat was eventually determined by Australian Museum research associate Dr Harry Parnaby after the specimen was loaned by the PNG Museum.

Read more: smh.com.au


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!