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Range extension of the little forest bat Vespadelus vulturnus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) into a semi-arid area of central Queensland, Australia

Range extension of the little forest bat Vespadelus vulturnus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) into a semi-arid area of central Queensland, Australia

Australian Zoologist 30(4): 392-397

A northward range extension of appr. 500 km of the Little Forest Bat Vespadelus vulturnus was recorded during a fauna survey at Idalia National Park, central western Queensland. Idalia NP lies In the semi-arid zone and is bounded by latitudes 24degree30' to 25degree20' South. Forty seven V. vulturnus (24 females and 23 males) were captured in hair traps set in five different vegetation formations. Bats were captured in riverine woodland near water and in woodland to significantly (p < 0.001) shorter than the mean forearm length of 22 females (25.8 mm). The mean head-vent length of males and females (n = 25) was 36.9 mm. Vespadelus vulturnus from Idalia NP is Australia's smallest mammal and on the basis of forearm length is within the size range of Kitti's Hog-nosed Bat Craseonycteris thonglongyai which is reported to be the world's smallest mammal.

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