Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Not listed under EPBC Act
Listing and Conservation Advices Troughton's Sheathtail-bat (Taphozous troughtoni). Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (Department of the Environment and Heritage Threatened Species Scientific Committee (DEH TSSC), 2000) [Listing Advice].
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Recovery plan for cave-dwelling bats, Rhinolophus philippinensis, Hipposideros semoni and Taphozous troughtoni 2001-2005 (Thomson, B., C. Pavey, and T. Reardon, 2001) [Recovery Plan].
 
Scientific name Taphozous troughtoni [25903]
Family Emballonuridae:Chiroptera:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Tate,1952
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Taphozous troughtoni

Common name: Troughton's Sheathtail-Bat

Taphozous troughtoni was originally described as a 'new species' by Tate (1952), referring to 'the large species of north central Australia' and based on his own material collected from Mt. Isa, Queensland. This view was taken despite being unable to resolve the taxonomic confusion over the real identity of T. australis and T. georgianus raised by Troughton (1925). McKean and Price (1967) retained the sub-species status of T. g. troughtoni as a 'race' of T. georgianus, a view also supported by Koopman (1984). Following these earlier taxonomic difficulties, the most recent revision of the Australian Emballonuridae by Chimimba and Kitchener (1991) recognises five species in the genus Taphozous, and clearly raises T. troughtoni to species level. As such, this species is the largest of the genus and, according to Chimimba and Kitchener (1991), does not belong to the T. georgianus size cline identified originally by McKean and Price (1967).

Troughton's Sheathtail-bat is similar in external appearance to T. georgianus but has a larger skull, dentary, teeth and external characters (Chimimba & Kitchener 1991). The fur on the back of the bat is olive brown with grey guard hairs while the underside is slightly lighter (Chimimba & Kitchener 1991). The forearm length is 73–76 mm.

The current distribution of Troughton's Sheathtail-bat is very poorly known. Only six specimens have been collected (Chimimba & Kitchener 1991; Tate 1952) and it has only been recorded occasionally in the last 34 years since the work of McKean and Price (1967). This species has been collected from only three localities in the general Mt Isa - Mary Kathleen - Cloncurry area, Queensland:

  • a cave next to the Rifle Creek Dam (type locality of Tate 1952)
  • the Native Bee Mine close to Mt. Isa
  • a mine at Ballara.

There is a recent record (measured and echolocation call recorded) from a rocky escarpment near Gunpowder, Queensland (Hall & De Oliveira unpublished data, cited in Duncan et al 1999). There are recent unconfirmed records from a disused railway tunnel at Ballara, and from a disused mine on Brightlands Station, near Cloncurry.

In March 2000, field work conducted in the Mount Isa region to resolve the taxonomic uncertainty established that both Troughton's Sheathtail-bat and the Common Sheathtail-bat are sympatric in the Mt Isa region and throughout much of south-eastern and central Queensland (DEH TSSC 2000).

The extent of occurrence for Troughton's Sheathtail-bat is estimated to be at least 7000 km² (DEH TSSC 2000).

From the limited data available on Troughton's Sheathtail-bat, it is impossible to establish the size of the current population, whether it has declined and, if so, by how much (Duncan et al. 1999).

There are unconfirmed records suggesting that Troughton's Sheathtail-bat is present at mining leases in the Mary Kathleen area (leases held by Mt Isa Mines Pty Ltd), and on freehold properties south of Mary Kathleen and Cloncurry, Queensland.

The species appears to be far more common than originally thought. There seems to be suitable natural roosting habitat throughout at least the Mt Isa area, and there is little likelihood of population decline or extinction in the near future (DEH TSSC 2000).

The roosting habitat of Troughton's Sheathtail-bat is open woodland with spinifex Triodia spp., where it uses subterranean roosts such as caves and abandoned mines, as well as cracks and crevices in rocky escarpments. Roosting sites are similar to T. georgianus, and include entrances to caves and shallow overhangs which are not far from daylight. This species is known to co-exist with T. georgianus as both species have been collected from the same (mine) roost (Chimimba & Kitchener 1991; McKean & Price 1967).

No maternity sites have been located.

Nothing is known of the foraging habitats of this species.

Little is known on the life cycle of the species.

Taphozous species are typically swift, high-flying species, which forage above canopy height (Thomson et al. 2001).

Substantial fat deposits are accumulated by T. georgianus in Autumn and larger colonies often disperse over winter and the bats become semi-dormant (Jolly 1995; B. Thomson pers. obs. in Thomson et al. 2002). For this reason, surveys for Troughton's Sheathtail-bat may be best carried out during summer months when colonies are more readily detected.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Recovery plan for cave-dwelling bats, Rhinolophus philippinensis, Hipposideros semoni and Taphozous troughtoni 2001-2005 (Thomson, B., C. Pavey, and T. Reardon, 2001) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Recovery plan for cave-dwelling bats, Rhinolophus philippinensis, Hipposideros semoni and Taphozous troughtoni 2001-2005 (Thomson, B., C. Pavey, and T. Reardon, 2001) [Recovery Plan].

Chimimba, C.T. & D.J. Kitchener (1991). A systematic revision of Australian Emballonuridae (Mammalia: Chiroptera). Records of the Western Australian Museum. 15:203-265.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Threatened Species Scientific Committee (DEH TSSC) (2000). Troughton's Sheathtail-bat (Taphozous troughtoni). Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC). [Online]. Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage. Canberra: Department of the Environment and Heritage. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/t-troughtoni.html.

Duncan, A., G.B. Baker & N. Montgomery (1999). The Action Plan for Australian Bats. [Online]. Canberra: Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/action/bats/index.html.

Jolly, S. (1995). Common Sheathtail-bat, Taphozous georgianus Pp. 472- 474 in R. Strahan (ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood.

Koopman, K (1984). Taxonomic and distributional notes on tropical Australian bats. American Museum Novitates. 2778:1-48.

McKean, J.L. & W.J. Price (1967). Notes on some Chiroptera from Queensland, Australia. Mammalia. 31:101-119.

Tate, G.H.H. (1952). Results of the Archbold Expeditions No 66. Mammals of Cape York Peninsula, with notes on the occurrence of rainforest in Queensland. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 98:563-616.

Thomson, B., C. Pavey, and T. Reardon (2001). Recovery plan for cave-dwelling bats, Rhinolophus philippinensis, Hipposideros semoni and Taphozous troughtoni 2001-2005. [Online]. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/cave-dwelling-bats/index.html.

Troughton, E. Le G. (1925). A revision of the genera Taphozous and Saccolaimus (Chiroptera) in Australia and New Guinea, including a new species, and a note on two Malayan forms. Records of the Australian Museum. 14:313-341.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Taphozous troughtoni in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:06:16 +1000.