Environment Australia, 1999
ISBN 0 642 2546 363
Taxon summary: Arnhem Sheathtail Bat
Scientific name: Taphozous kapalgensis McKean and Friend, 1979
Common name: Arnhem Sheathtail Bat
Conservation status: Data Deficient
Past range and abundance
Present range and abundance
Known only from a few specimens collected from Kakadu National Park (McKean and Friend 1979). However, Aboriginal people believe it occurs in south-east Arnhem Land (McKean and Thomson 1995), and because of limited survey activity in the Top End of the Northern Territory, it could be much more widespread than the current information suggests. Three nights of surveying in August 1996 at the type locality did not find/detect this species (L.Hall and G.Richards pers. comm.).
Savannah Woodland dominated by Eucalyptus papuana and Pandanus spiralis. Aboriginal people say the species roosts at the base of Pandanus leaves (McKean and Thomson 1995).
None known. No decline has been detected nor is it likely that the habitat in which the species has been found will be greatly altered in the forseeable future. The weed species Mimosa pigra can detrimentally impact on floodplain vegetation, which may have implications for the species if it is dependent on Pandanus.
The Kapalga Research Station, where the species was first found, has been incorporated into Kakadu National Park. Access to Arnhem Land is by permit only, thereby limiting activities in this area which is likely to contain the species. Mimosa control has been undertaken in Kakadu National Park, and research into the new or improved ways of control is continuing.
- Undertake targetted surveys to clarify distribution and conservation status.
- Carry out ecological research to determine:
- habitat requirements;
- roost and maternity site selection, particularly the potential use of Pandanus as roosting places;
- population dynamics; and
- threatening processes.
- Review status based on knowledge gained through the above actions.
McKean J.L. and Friend, G.R. 1979. Taphozous kapalgensis, a new species of Sheath-tailed bat from the Northern Territory, Australia. Victorian Naturalist 96, 239–241.
McKean J. and Thomson B. 1995. Arnhem Sheathtail-bat Taphozous kapalgensis. pp. 476–477 in R. Strahan (Ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.
Authors for the species