endangered bats

Australian Mammals that you didn’t know existed

You hear a lot about Kangaroos and Koalas and such, so I thought I’d post some animals that are unknown to lots of people, even some Aussies don’t realise we have them. Sadly most of these are on the endagered species list.

Also some fun facts added so you can have an idea of how awesome they are.

Quolls

Considered Australia’s ‘native cat’ these guys are carnivorous marsupials and have the ability to bite through bone. 4 species; Eastern Quoll, Spotted-Tailed Quoll (or Tiger Quoll), Western Quoll (or chuditch) and Northern Quoll. ranging in size from 25cm to 75 cm long.

Kultarr

Cute little insect eaters, again a marsupial. Can move at speeds of around 13km/hr. Only about 10cm long.

Bettongs

Marsupial. Of which there are 5 species (and at least another 2 extinct); Eastern Bettong, Boodie, Woylie, Northern Bettong and Rufous Rat-Kangaroo (or Rufous Bettong). They seem to get along well with wombats, where I work they enter the wombat exhibits of a night to share their food.

Bilby

Marsupial. There was once 2 species of Bilby, sadly the Lesser Bilby became extinct in the 1950s and the Greater Bilby is greatly endangered. In the same family as Bandicoots. Omnivores with backwards facing pouches (as they dig a lot this stops dirt getting in their pouch) Australian’s know these guys through the story of the Easter Bilby. Rabbits are considered a major reason for their decrease in numbers as they eat all the food and out-breed the Bilbies.

Numbat

Marsupial. Aka the banded anteater or Walpurti. Mainly eats termites. Emblem of Western Australia. Up to 45cm long. One of the few marsupials that are diurnal (active of a day). Eats up to 20,000 termites each day. Estimated population of less than 1000.

Grey-Headed Flying Fox

Aka Fruit Bat. Placental mammal. Called a flying fox because they have a fox-like face and can fly.
Babies are called pups. Megabat. Wingspan of about 1m. May travel 50kms in one night for food. Eats pollen, nectar, sap and fruit. Long distance seed distributors and plant pollenators. Each colony plants around 30,000 trees a night. Without these guys we don’t have any of our lovely bush and ecosystem that we all rely on. Have very good eyesight and no echolocation.

Greater Stick-Nest Rat

Placental mammal. Up to 26cm long. Don’t have a ratty face. Were extinct on the mainland but through breeding programs have been re-introduced. Herbivores. Chew branches to length and weave them together to make a nest which can be up to 1m high and 1.5m wide.

Other unknown Australian Mammals you can look up:
Antechinus
Pygmy Possum
Feathertail Glider (smallest glider in the world)
Southern Ningaui
Greater Glider
Potoroos
Pademelons
Eastern False Pipistrelle

Sadly lots of these could go extinct within the next 20 years, and people haven’t even had the chance to really get to appreciate them yet.
**PS the Koala is also in danger of becoming extinct in the wild in the next 20years**

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Like most frogs, the goliath frog is hardly a picky eater, being pretty much willing to swallow anything smaller than itself.  Considering how big this frog is, however, that list is much longer than most.  Goliath frogs have been found happily devouring insects, fish, mice, small snakes, crustaceans, other frogs (including other goliath frogs), worms, and baby turtles.  But perhaps the biggest surprise came when one researcher cut open a goliath frog to discover that its last meal had been a bat!

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The Bumblebee Bat.

Also known as Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat, it lives only in small areas of Thailand and Burma. It is an endangered species, and the only bat of the Craseonycteridae family. 

It is the smallest species of bat and arguably the world’s smallest mammal (by cranium size). Colonies range greatly in size, with an average of 100 individuals per cave. They eat insects, hunting them in the evenings and before dawn. Females give birth annually to a single offspring.

Because someone posted a picture cascade of harvest mice, I thought I would post one of the Honduran White Bat.

The body of this bat is only about as long as your thumb.

As you can see, they shelter together in small groups, under broad leaves. They chew the spine of these leaves to weaken it and let its two halves fold down to hide them underneath.

Their coloring, though it stands out in photographs, is actually camouflage. Their white fur reflects the green color of the leaves they nest under!

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Some more pages from my Golden Guides! These things had so many cool facts. Each are 160 pages.

In order of appearance: Reptiles & Amphibians, Stars, Exotic Plants for Home and Garden, Hallucinogenic Plants, Non-Flowering Plants, Zoo Animals, Venomous Animals, Endangered Animals, Bats of the World, and Rocks and Minerals.

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Bat Research Brings the #mypubliclandsroadtrip to #WomeninSTEM Wednesday

Today’s roadtrip continues in the Big Saline Bayou, Louisiana, for a behind-the-scenes with Alison McCartney. a BLM Southeastern States District Office employee whose specialty is bats.

“The BLM’s Southeastern States District Office is currently conducting acoustic surveys on BLM tracts in Alabama and Louisiana to determine bat species relative abundance and diversity.  We are using an Anabat SD2, which is a piece of equipment that records bat echolocation calls. Using specialized software, these calls can be analyzed to identify species. Our primary focus for the survey effort is to determine if there are any rare, threatened, or endangered bat species utilizing the tracts to better focus habitat management efforts to benefit these species, if present. 

We are also interested, however, in common species that might occur on the tracts. Bat relative abundance and diversity are considered an overall indicator of forest health. A higher abundance and species diversity of bats in an area represents a healthier more diverse forest.”

-By Alison McCartney

one time in science we had to write our state senator a letter about an environmental issue and i wrote about the indiana bat being endangered and I got a letter back from him personally telling me he would do his best to help protect the bats and that’s probably my greatest achievement to this day