Environment Australia, 1999
ISBN 0 642 2546 363
Taxon summary: Little North-western Freetail Bat
Scientific name: Mormopterus loriae cobourgiana Johnson, 1959
Common name: Little North-western Freetail Bat
Conservation status: Data Deficient
Past range and abundance
Coastal and sub-coastal areas of the top-end of the Northern Territory and the semi-arid part of the tropical coastline of Western Australia. There is no historical data on abundance.
Present range and abundance
Known from 12 localities in Western Australia and four in the Northern Territory (NT Biological Records System, Thomson 1991). There is no evidence that the range has contracted. Within its range, it is restricted to a few localised habitats, and can appear to be locally common because it aggregates. In the dry season, swarms of up to one hundred have been seen rising from Avicennia marina stands in Exmouth Gulf and Cape Keraudren at dusk, before dispersing to forage singly or in pairs.
Rainforest and mangroves in the Northern Territory (Thomson 1991) and mangroves in Western Australia. Preys upon flying insects in the open air above and beside the forest canopy. Roosts in small spouts.
Too little is known of its ecology and distribution to identify threats. A population occurs in the Gurig National Park in the Northern Territory. No island populations are known.
- Investigate taxonomic status by quantifying the substantial morphological differences between the Western Australia and Northern Territory populations.
- Carry out ecological research to determine:
- roost and maternity site selection;
- foraging strategy;
- movement patterns between the mangrove stands along the Western Australian coast;
- persistence of known populations;
- population size and dynamics; and
- threatening processes.
- Review status based on knowledge gained through the above actions.
Adams M., Reardon T.R., Baverstock P.R. and Watts C.H.S. 1988. Electrophoretic resolution of species boundaries in Australian Microchiroptera. IV. The Molossidae (Chiroptera). Australian Journal of Biological Sciences 41, 315–326.
McKenzie N.L. and Start A.N. 1989. Structure of bat guilds in mangroves: environmental disturbance and determinism. pp. 167–178 in D.W Morris, Z. Abramsky, B.J. Fox and M.R. Willig (Eds). Patterns in the structure of mammalian communities. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, Texas.
McKenzie N.L. 1995. Little Northern Freetailed-bat, Mormopterus loriae cobourgiana. pp. 482–483 in R. Strahan (Ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.
Thomson B.G. 1991. A field guide to bats of the Northern Territory. Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
Authors for the species