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 Listed as Vulnerable as Nyctophilus corbeni
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on ten species of Bats (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2001a) [Listing Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey Guidelines for Australia's Threatened Bats. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.1 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2010m) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (29/03/2001) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2001h) [Legislative Instrument] as Nyctophilus timoriensis (South-eastern form).
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (119) (01/08/2011) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2011e) [Legislative Instrument] as Nyctophilus corbeni.
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Bat Calls of New South Wales-Region based guide to the echolocation calls of microchiropteran bats (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2004a) [Database].
NSW:Bat Roosts - North east NSW. Natural Resource Management Advisory Series: Note 7 (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2004b) [Information Sheet].
NSW:Trees with Hollows. North east NSW. Natural Resource Management Advisory Series: Note 1 (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2004g) [Information Sheet].
NSW:Greater Long-eared Bat (south eastern form) - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005hz) [Internet].
QLD:Eastern long-eared bat (Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (Qld DEHP), 2013h) [State Action Plan].
QLD:Enhancing biodiversity hotspots along Western Queensland stock routes (Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (Qld DERM), 2009a) [Management Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): August 2014 list) as Nyctophilus corbeni
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list) as Nyctophilus timoriensis (South-eastern form)
SA: Listed as Vulnerable (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list) as Nyctophilus timoriensis (South-eastern form)
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): May 2014 list) as Nyctophilus timoriensis (South-eastern form)
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Endangered (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013 list)
Scientific name Nyctophilus corbeni [83395]
Family Vespertilionidae:Chiroptera:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Parnaby, 2009
Infraspecies author  
Reference Parnaby, H.E. (2009) Australian Zoologist 35 (1): 39-81 at
Other names Nyctophilus timoriensis (South-eastern form) [66888]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Nyctophilus corbeni

Common name: South-eastern Long-eared Bat

Other names: Greater long-eared Bat

Originally the South-eastern Longed-eared Bat was considered a subspecies of the Greater Long-eared Bat, Nyctophilus timoriensis. Recent studies have described the bat as a separate species, Nyctophilus corbeni (Parnaby 2009).

The South-eastern Long-eared Bat is a member of the Vespertilionidae family. It has a head and body length of around 50–75 mm and a tail length of 35–50 mm. The weight varies between genders with females (14–21 g) being heavier than males (11–15 g). The South-eastern Long-eared Bat is distinguishable from other long-eared bats by its larger size as well as a broader skull and jaw. It is also geographically separated from other long-eared bats (van Dyck & Strahan 2008).

Little is known about the biology or social structure of these bats. It is likely, however, that they roost solitarily under exfoliated bark and in the crevices on trees. During maternity, females are believed to form roosting colonies in larger tree cavities. They have a unique flight pattern, similar to a butterfly and probably forage within one kilometre of their roosting site (van Dyck & Strahan 2008).

The South-eastern Long-eared Bat has a limited distribution that is restricted around the Murray-Darling Basin in south-eastern Australia. Even in this region its distribution is scattered and it is rarely recorded (Turbill & Ellis 2006). It occurs in far eastern South Australia, in areas north of the Murray River, east of Canegrass Station and south of the Barrier Highway. These areas include the Riverland Biosphere Reserve, Danggali Conservation Park and the Birds Australia Gluepot Reserve (Turbill et al. 2008). It is distributed throughout inland NSW except in the north-west area which is dominated by treeless plains. It can be found in the Hunter Valley, extending from central NSW to the eastern Hunter Valley coast. Records also indicate populations in River Red Gum, Eucayptus camaldulensis, forests along the Murray River (Law & Anderson 1999). In Queensland, the South-eastern Long-eared Bat is mainly recorded in the Brigalow Belt South Bioregion, extending eastwards to the Bunya Mountains National Park. It has been recorded as far north as the Expedition Range and Dawson River areas. Its westerly range extends into the Mulgalands Bioregion and west of Bollon. There are limited records in Victoria, with patchy distributions in the Northern Plains and Mallee regions (Koehler 2006; Lumsden 1994). There have been more trapping surveys in Victoria in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park and Nowingi area in the north-west (Lumsden et al. 2008).

The South-eastern Long-eared Bat is rare throughout most of its distribution. In some areas however, it is more commonly recorded. These areas include the Brigalow Belt South and Nandewar Bioregions in north-eastern NSW. Capture rates for various trapping surveys are discussed in Schulz and Lumsden (2010):

Region Capture Rates (as % of total bat captures)
Brigalow Belt South, NSW 7–9%
Nandewar Bioregions, NSW 7–9%
Riverland Biosphere Reserve, South Australia 2.9%
Western slopes and plains of NSW 1.4%
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park and Nowingi area, Victoria 2%
Victoria (excluding regions above) 0.04%

The South-eastern Long-eared bat occurs in the following reserve systems (Duncan et al. 1999):

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, Murray Sunset National Park.

Goulburn River National Park, Monabalai Nature Reserve, Yathong Nature Reserve Budigower Nature Reserve, Woggon Nature Reserve, Mungo National Park, Cocoparra National Park, Ben Halls Gap National Park, Pilliga Nature Reserve, Goobang National Park, Warrumbungle National Park, The Rock Nature Reserve.

South Australia
Danggali Conservation Park.

Calperum Station.

The South-eastern Long-eared Bat occurs in a range of inland woodland vegetation types, including box, ironbark and cypress pine woodlands.

The species also occurs in Buloke woodland, Brigalow woodland, Belah woodland, Smooth-barked Apple, Angophora leiocarpa, woodland; River Red Gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, forests lining watercourses and lakes, Black Box, Eucalyptus largiflorens, woodland, dry sclerophyll forest. Throughout inland Queensland, the species habitat is dominated by various eucalypt and bloodwood species, and various types of tree mallee with it being most abundant in vegetation with a distinct canopy and a dense cluttered shrub layer (Dominelli 2000; Ellis et al. 1999; Koehler 2006; Lumsden 1994; McFarland et al. 1999; Parnaby 1995; Turbill & Ellis 2006).

In the Hunter Valley, NSW, the species is found in areas such as the Monobalai Nature Reserve and Goulburn River and Wollemi National Parks. It has primarily been recorded in moister woodland of various eucalypt species with a distinct shrub layer frequently adjacent to watercourses. There are a small number of records from closed forest adjacent to dry sclerophyll woodlands; in Araucarian notophyll vine forest in the Bunya Mountains and in semi evergreen vine thickets on the banks of the Dawson River and in the Brigalow Belt Bioregion (Pennay 2002; Venz et al. 2002).

There is little information currently available on this species' reproductive biology. Pregnant and lactating females have been trapped in November in central-western NSW and Queensland suggesting a similar breeding cycle to other sympatric long-eared bat species (Schulz & Lumsden 2010).

The South-eastern Long-eared Bat is an insectivorous and voracious feeder. Food can be taken in flight, by gleaning vegetation or ground foraging (Lumsden & Bennett 2000; Van Dyck & Strahan 2008). In flight, it commonly feeds on beetles, bugs, and moths (Lumsden & Bennett 2000) however it has also been recorded feeding on grasshoppers and crickets.

Foraging activities are concentrated around patches of trees in the landscape. Individuals appear to have defined foraging areas which they return to; they do not defend foraging areas and many individual from different species may share the same area. Trapping surveys have caught 600 bats (from a variety of species) in a 2 km foraging strip. The estimated success of the trappings was around 10%, indicating much larger populations in foraging areas (Lumsden & Bennett 2000). They are known to consume ants, mosquitoes and spiders and can consume half their body weight in a single night (Schulz & Lumsden 2010).

A substantial food source for the Bat comes from the eucalypt trees in which it dwells. These trees contain a wide range of insects that attack and damage trees. The South-eastern Long-eared Bat plays an important role in containing the number of foliage feeding insects in remnant woodlands and rural environments (Lumsden & Bennett 2000).

In a recent roosting study individuals were found to move large distances on a nightly basis. Roost sites were on average 1.89 ± 1.61 km (range 0.34–7.06 km) from the capture point. Individuals used a number of different roost sites within the time they were tracked. Most roosts were used for just a single day (1.3 ± 0.6 days) before the individual moved to a new roost site. In contrast to other species of long-eared bats which move regularly between a number of roosts that are close together (e.g. within 300 m; Lumsden & Bennett 2006), South-eastern Long-eared Bats moved large distances 1.91 ± 1.86 km (range 25 m–5.88 km) between consecutive roosts. Not all individuals were located every day despite extensive searching, suggesting that they were using even larger home ranges, incorporating areas outside the area that could be regularly searched (Schulz & Lumsden 2010).

Due to the lack of data available to assess the population decline of the South-eastern Long-eared Bat, determining past and current threats is difficult. However, past tree clearing is likely to be a major factor in the South-eastern Long-eared Bat's decline. Other potential threats have been identified by Schulz and Lumsden (2010):

Habitat loss
Agriculture, open cut coal, natural gas and mineral sand mining proposals are the main reasons behind the clearing of mallee and woodland habitats. This of particular concern as the South-eastern Long-eared Bat is found exclusively in such environments.

Habitat fragmentation
Prior to European settlement, mallee and woodland habitats were extensive across inland eastern Australia. Agriculture is the main cause of habitat fragmentation; this is a threat as trapping surveys show the species displays a preference for larger habitats. Furthermore feral predators are often concentrated in open areas near cleared habitats.

Due to their small population, fires pose a major threat to the species. They not only directly kill the animal, but also destroy roosting sites.

Forestry activities
The availability of suitable roosting habitats are essential for the presence of bat populations. The South-eastern Long-eared Bat is known to roost in deadwood or hollow trunks/branches. Standard forestry practices remove such items from the environment and are hence considered a potential threat.

The South-eastern Long-eared bat is believed to forage on low ground and shrubs. High density grazing around such regions destroys shrubs and limits the regeneration of the habitat. Overgrazing by feral species such as the rabbit may also pose the threat to the Bat.

Predation by feral species
The impact of feral predation is unknown but has been documented as a threat for the Lesser Long-eared Bat, Nyctophilus geoffroyi (Dickman et al. 1993).

Tree hollow competition
Bats have been recorded being evicted from tree hollows by feral species, including the Common Starling, Sturnus vulgaris.

Exposure to agrichemicals
While the impact of agrichemicals on bat species is not well known, overspray occurs in regions supporting bat habitats. This may pose a threat to the species.

Climate change
Under the EPBC Act (DEWHA 2007) climate change is identified as key threatening process for species, including bats.

The draft National Recovery Plan for the South-eastern Long-eared Bat (Schulz & Lumsden 2010) aims to achieve down-listing of the South-eastern Long-eared Bat from 'Vulnerable' nationally to a lower threat category. This down-listing is to be achieved by securing the long-term protection of the species through a reduction in the impact of threatening processes and to improve the standard of information available to guide recovery (Schulz & Lumsden 2010). The recovery plan seeks to achieve this goal through the use of 10 specific objectives:

  • Clarify the current fine-scale distribution patterns and habitat requirements across the species' range.
  • Increase the understanding of critical aspects of the biology and ecology of the South-eastern Long-eared Bat that will assist in the long-term management of the species.
  • Identify key populations and protect these from habitat loss and fragmentation.
  • Identify and alter inappropriate fire regimes.
  • Identify and minimise forestry practices that may impact this species.
  • Reduce exposure to agrichemicals.
  • Identify the extent of population fragmentation and instigate measures to increase habitat connectivity where recent isolation has occurred.
  • Identify and reduce the potential impact of feral species on key populations.
  • Identify the key threats to the conservation of the species.
  • Build community support for the conservation of the species.

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
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Listing Advice on ten species of Bats (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2001a) [Listing Advice].
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Nyctophilus timoriensis (South-eastern form) in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006pt) [Internet].

DEWHA (2007). Loss of terrestrial climatic habitat caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. [Online]. Available from:

Dominelli, S. (2000). Distribution, roost requirements and foraging behaviour of the Greater Long-eared Bat (Nyctophilus timoriensis) and the Little Pied Bat (Chalinolobus picatus) in the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve. Unpublished report. Unpublished report to the Bookmark Biosphere Trust, South Australia.

Duncan, A., G.B. Baker & N. Montgomery (1999). The Action Plan for Australian Bats. [Online]. Canberra: Environment Australia. Available from:

Ellis, M., L. Lumsden, M. Schulz, T. Reardon, G. Richards & G. Hoye (1999). Eastern Long-eared Bat. Pp. 42-43. In: Duncan, A., G.B. Baker, and N. Montgomery. (Eds.). The Action Plan for Australian Bats. Canberra: Environment Australia.

Koehler, S. (2006). New record of a Greater Long-eared Bat in Victoria. Australasian Bat Society Newsletter. 26:43-44.

Law, B. & J. Anderson (1999). A survey for the Southern Myotis Myotis macropus (Vespertilionidae) and other bat species in River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis forests of the Murray River, New South Wales. Australian Zoologist. 31:166-174.

Lumsden, L. & A. Bennett (2000). Bats in rural landscapes: a significant but largely unknown faunal component. T.Barlow & R.Thorburn, eds. Bushcare Grassy Landscapes Conference. Page(s) 42-50. Canberra: Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group.

Lumsden, L., J. Nelson & M. Lindeman (2008). Ecological research on the Eastern Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus timoriensis (south-eastern form). A report to the Mallee Catchment Management Authority. Heidelberg, Victoria: Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Lumsden, L.F. (1994). The distribution, habitat and conservation status of the Greater Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus timoriensis in Victoria. Victorian Naturalist. 111:4-9.

Lumsden, L.F. & A.F. Bennett (2006). Flexibility and specificity in the roosting ecology of the Lesser Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi: A common and widespread Australian species. Pp. 290-307. In: Akbar, Z., G.F. McCracken, and T.H. Kunz. (eds.). Functional and Evolutionary Ecology of Bats. New York: Oxford University Press.

McFarland, D., M. Venz & T. Reis (1999). Priority Species Summaries. An attachment to the report: Terrestrial Vertebrate Fauna of the Brigalow Belt South Bioregion: Assessment and Analysis for Conservation Planning. Brisbane: Biodiversity Planning, Environmental Protection Agency.

Parnaby, H (2009). A taxonomic review of Australian greater long-eared bats previously known as Nyctophilus timoriensis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) and some associated taxa. Australian Zoologist. 35:39-81.

Parnaby, H. (1995). Greater Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus timoriensis. Chatswood, NSW: Reed Books.

Pennay, M. (2002). Greater Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus timoriensis. Appendix 2, Brigalow Belt South Stage Two, Vertebrate Fauna Survey, Analysis and Modelling. Unpublished report. Page(s) 30-31. Sydney, Planning NSW, Resource and Conservation Division.

Schulz, M. & L. Lumsden (2010). (Draft) National Recovery Plan for the South-eastern Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus corbeni. Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Turbill, C. & M. Ellis (2006). Distribution and abundance of the south eastern form of the Greater Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus timoriensis. Australian Mammalogy. 28:1-7.

Turbill, C., L. Lumsden & G. Ford (2008). South-eastern Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus sp.. In: Van Dyck, S. and R. Strahan, (eds.), eds. The Mammals of Australia. Sydney, New Holland.

Van Dyck, S. & R. Strahan (2008). The Mammals of Australia, Third Edition. Page(s) 880. Sydney: Reed New Holland.

Venz, M., M. Mathieson & M. Schulz (2002). Fauna of the Lower Dawson River Floodplain - an assessment of fauna downstream of the proposed Nathan Dam. In: Forest Ecosystem Research and Assessment. Forest Ecosystem Research and Assessment, Indooroopilly: Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

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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). Nyctophilus corbeni in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 20 Sep 2014 18:05:06 +1000.