The Action Plan for Australian Bats
Taxon summary: Yellow-lipped Cave Bat
Scientific name: Vespadelus douglasorum Kitchener, 1976
Common name: Yellow-lipped Cave Bat
Conservation status: Data Deficient
Past range and abundance
The species occurs in the parts of the north-western, south-western and north-eastern Kimberley which receive more than 600mm annual rainfall. There is no historical data on abundance. No island populations are known.
Present range and abundance
The first recorded capture was in 1958, and less than 15 localities have been reported since. A colony of about 12 individuals occupied the old school house at Mount Hart Homestead until 1993, when the building was knocked down. A colony of up to 50 individuals occurs in the Tunnel Creek cavern, Napier Range, and a small colony in a cave at Geikie Gorge.
The single individual known from the north-eastern Kimberley may be a different taxa [WAM19653 from Tanmurra Bore in the Ninbing Range: shorter ear with a flap at corner of mouth; shorter, wider tragus; short radius (33.9mm); for digit-3, a longer proximal phalynx to metacarpal ratio (14.9/34.0 = 0.44); no upper pre-molars; head not blended to shoulders and back].
Captured along creeks and pools in Warton and King Leopold sandstone and in Devonian limestone range country. Species such as Melaleuca leucadendron, M. argentia, Pandanus spp., Ficus platypoda and Barringtonia acutangula are typically present.
Too little is known of its ecology and distribution to identify threats. The Prince Regent River, Drysdale River and Tunnel Creek populations are protected by reservation. However, Tunnel Creek Cave is regularly disturbed by tourists.
- Undertake targetted surveys to clarify distribution and conservation status.
- Carry out ecological research to determine:
- habitat requirements;
- roost and maternity site selection;
- foraging strategy;
- population dynamics; and
- threatening processes.
- Assess taxonomic status of north-east Kimberley specimen with a view to its description.
- Review status based on knowledge gained through the above actions.
Kitchener D.J. 1976. Eptesicus douglasi, a new vespertilionid bat from Kimberley, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 4, 295–302.
Kitchener D.J., Jones B. and Caputi N. 1987. Revision of Australian Eptesicus (Microchiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Records of the Western Australian Museum 13, 427–500.
Kitchener D.J. 1995. Yellow-lipped Bat, Vespadelus douglasorum. pp. 538–539 in R. Strahan (Ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.
Author for the species