Environment Australia, 1999
ISBN 0 642 2546 363
Taxon summary: Western False Pipistrelle
Scientific Name: Falsistrellus mackenziei Kitchener, Caputi and Jones, 1986
Common Name: Western False Pipistrelle
Conservation status: Lower Risk (near threatened)
Past range and abundance
First recorded capture was in 1961. All available records are from the forested areas in mesic parts of the Darling Phytogeographic District of south-western Australia. Its range extends northward almost to Perth and eastward to the western margin of the wheatbelt. No historical data on abundance. No island populations known.
Present range and abundance
Since 1961, the species has been collected at 33 locations in south-west Australia. It is known from 27 operational forest ‘blocks’. Records with habitat data were in or adjacent to stands of mature forest (usually pre-senescent types of old growth). It is estimated that 12–15% of the south-western forests remain as old growth, so a substantial decline in area of occupancy is indicated. At four sites it was locally common.
It occurs in wet sclerophyll forest dominated by Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), and in the high rainfall zones of the Jarrah (E. marginata) and Tuart (E. gomphocephala) forests. It has also been recorded in mixed Tuart-Jarrah tall woodlands on the adjacent coastal plain. Marri (E. calophylla), Sheoak (Casuarina heugeliana) and Peppermint (Agonis flexuosa) trees are often co-dominant at its collection localities.
A specialist whose foraging niche centres on the ‘inside stand/open’ foraging microhabitat found under the canopy of mature forests. Chalinolobus gouldii, its aerodynamically less specialised competitor, occupies the ‘beside stand/open’ foraging microhabitat that becomes more common as trees are removed.
Stands of mature, pre-senescent forest are still subject to logging. Some in private ownership are being cleared. However, more than 60% of the remaining ‘old growth’ in the three main south-western forest types is now under some form of reservation.
- Field survey to establish status.
- Monitor presence/absence at selected sites across range.
- Locate and characterise roost sites, determine conservation implications of sexual segregation in roosting and foraging.
- Protect roosts from disturbance.
DFA. 1995. Deferred Forest Assessment for Western Australia. Draft Report by the Government of Western Australia for the Commonwealth Government, September 1995. Western Australian Government, Perth.
Hoskin D.J. and O’Shea J.E. 1994. Falsistrellus mackenziei at Jandakot. Western Australian Naturalist 19, 351.
Kitchener D.J., Caputi N. and Jones B. 1986. Revision of Australo-Papuan Pipistrellus and of Falsistrellus (Microchiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Records of the Western Australian Museum 12, 435–495.
Fullard J., Koehler C., Surlykke A. and McKenzie N.L. 1991. Echolocation ecology and flight morphology of insectivorous bats (Chiroptera) in south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 39, 427–438.
Start A.N. and McKenzie N.L. 1995. Western False Pipistrelle Falsistrellus mackenziei. pp. 518–519 in R. Strahan (Ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.
Authors for the species