The Action Plan for Australian Bats
Taxon summary: Papuan Sheathtail Bat
Scientific name: Saccolaimus mixtus Troughton, 1925
Common name: Papuan Sheathtail Bat
Conservation status: Data Deficient
Past range and abundance
Present range and abundance
Northern Cape York Peninsula, with 3 specimens from Brown’s Creek on the Pascoe River in 1948 , 10 specimens from near Weipa in 1980–2 , and one specimen from Heathlands in 1992 . The most southern known locality is Aurukun but the full extent of range has not been determined. The species is possibly present on some of the islands of Torres Strait as it occurs extralimitally in Papua New Guinea (Flannery 1990); the type locality is Port Moresby (Troughton 1925). Known from five specimens in southern New Guinea e.g. Dogwa, Oriomo River (Tate 1941).
The three earliest Australian specimens were shot ‘flying over open forest near a gully filled with fringe forest’, while those collected in 1982 were caught along a track in closed Eucalyptus tetrodonta forest . The Heathlands specimen was taken around buildings in a clearing, surrounded by heaths and woodlands. The New Guinea specimens were mostly from monsoonal woodland, with one specimen taken from a limestone cave. Some Australian specimens were collected considerable distances from caves, and it is thought that roosts may be in tree hollows. The species typically forages in the open, above the canopy.
Not known. If the species does live in tree hollows, the clearing of woodland, especially where hollow bearing eucalypts occur, for example, would pose a threat.
The species possibly occurs in several National Parks e.g. Jardine River National Park (as the Heathlands collecting locality (Coles and Lumsden 1993) is immediately adjacent to the National Park), Iron Range National Park, Archer Bend National Park and Rokeby National Park.
- Undertake targetted surveys to clarify distribution and conservation status. Surveys should utilise ultrasonic bat detection techniques.
- Carry out ecological research to determine:
- habitat requirements;
- roost and maternity site selection;
- foraging strategy;
- population dynamics; and
- threatening processes.
- Review status based on knowledge gained through the above actions.
Coles R.B. and Lumsden L. 1993. Report on the survey of bats in the Heathlands area of Cape York Peninsula. pp. 247–59 in: Cape York Peninsula Scientific Expedition Wet Season 1992 Report, Volume 2. The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Inc.
Flannery T. 1990. Mammals of New Guinea. Robert Brown and Associates, Carina, Australia.
Hall L.S. and Richards G.C. 1979. Bats of Eastern Australia. Queensland Museum Booklet No. 12. Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Richards G. C. and Thomson B. 1995. Papuan Sheathtail-bat Saccolaimus mixtus. pp. 468-469 in R. Strahan (Ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.
Tate G.H.H. 1941. Results of the Archbold Expeditions No. 37: Notes on the Oriental Taphozous and allies. American Museum Novitates No. 1141, 1–5.
Tate G.H.H. 1952. Results of the Archbold Expeditions No.66: Mammals of Cape York Peninsula, with notes on the occurrence of rain forest in Queensland. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 98, 563–616.
Troughton E. LeG. 1925. A revision of the genus Taphozous and Saccolaimus in Australia and New Guinea. Records of the Australian Museum 14, 313–339.
Troughton E. LeG. 1948. Furred Animals of Australia. 3rd Edition. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
Winter J. and Atherton. R. 1982. A new collection of the Papuan Sheathtail bat, Taphozous mixtus, in Australia. Australian Bat Research News 18, 9–10.
Authors for the species