Tuesday, 3 June 2014

‘Lost’ bat species rediscovered after 120 years in the wilderness

By The Conversation
Saturday, May 31, 2014 9:57 EDT

More than a century after it was “lost”, the New Guinea big-eared bat has been discovered by Queensland researchers working in Papua New Guinea’s forests. The critically endangered bat was thought to be extinct, and the discovery shows there is still much to learn about biodiversity in our region.
On July 25, 2012, Catherine Hughes and Julie Broken-Brow caught a small, female bat in a trap at the edge of a forest in southeast Papua New Guinea (PNG). But the bat didn’t match any species known to exist. And so began a fascinating detective story about a species that hadn’t been spotted for more than 120 years.
The land of the microbats

As part of a fauna survey, Catherine and Julie ventured into the lowland forests 200 km southeast of Port Moresby, in a region known as the Cloudy Bay Forest Management Area. The survey was part of a University of Queensland study, carried out with the permission of local landowners and sponsored by Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry Ltd, which manages the area.

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