Until recently the south-eastern long-eared bat was included as a distinct form of the greater long-eared bat (Nyctophilus timoriensis) complex and was listed as such under the EPBC Act. In 2009 it was formally described as a separate species, Nyctophilus corbeni (south-eastern longeared bat). There are no recognised subspecies. The south-eastern long-eared bat is a member of the Vespertilionidae family. It is a relatively large solid bat with a broad, robust skull. It has a head and body length of 50–75 mm, a forearm length of 40–50 mm and a tail length of 35–50 mm. The species weighs between 11–21 g with females (14–21 g) typically heavier than males (11–15 g). As the name suggests, the species has long ears, approximately 30 mm in length, which are erect when the bat is alert but fold back when at rest. The species’ fur is a light brown to a dark grey-brown. The species is sympatric in part of its range with the morphologically similar Gould’s long-eared bat (Nyctophilus gouldi). The echolocation calls of the south-eastern long-eared bat cannot be reliably distinguished from those of the Gould’s long-eared bat using common methods.
Corben's Long-eared Bat |
Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Nyctophilus corbeni
However it is likely that area of occupancy is declining due to habitat loss; particularly in New South Wales and Queensland; and to habitat degradation associated with altered fire regimes; timber extraction; mining and other factors (Woinarski et al.; 2014).
Fire Bushfires are suspected to be a threat in the remaining uncleared areas of the south eastern long eared bat s habitat (Duncan et al.; 1999).
Bushfires pose a threat to the conservation of the species by both causing direct mortality during bushfire events and through the loss of foraging habitat and roosting sites; which take a long time to develop (Schulz and Lumsden 2010).
Schulz and Lumsden (2010) suggest that bushfires; fuel reduction burns and frequent burning regimes for increased productivity in New South Wales and Queensland have an unknown but likely detrimental impact on the species.
It is important to clarify the impact and requirements of fire for this species across its entire range and to determine optimal fire regimes.