Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

We review the habitat, distribution and conservation status of bat species known to occur in Tasmania. There are eight resident species of native bat in Tasmania; Gould's Wattled Bat Chalinolobus gouldii, Chocolate Wattled Bat C. morio, Large Forest Bat Vespadelus darlingtoni, Southern Forest Bat V. regulus, Little Forest Bat, V. vulturnus, Eastern Falsistrelle Falsistrellus tasmaniensis, Lesser Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi and the endemic Tasmanian Long-eared Bat N. sherrini. In addition the Grey-headed Flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus is a vagrant, predominantly recorded on the Bass Strait islands. The diversity of species in Tasmania is low compared with mainland Australia reflecting the state's island status, size, location and glacial history. There has been a limited amount of bat research in Tasmania and systematic surveys have not been undertaken across Tasmania. However, based on available information all resident species occur widely throughout Tasmania in a wide range of habitats and none are listed under Tasmania's Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 or Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The vagrant P. poliocephalus is listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Australian Government 2007 Pteropus poliocephalus (Greyheaded Flying-fox). Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) on Amendments to the list of Threatened Species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Last modified 19 February 2007,, accessed 10 October 2007.
AUSVETPLAN 1999 Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan. Disease Strategy for Australian Bat Lyssavirus in Domestic Animals and Captive Colonies. Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, Canberra.
Blom, W.M. 1988. Late Quaternary sediments and sea-levels in Bass Basin, southeastern Australia - A preliminary report. Search 19: 94-96.
Bowler, J.M. 1982. Aridity in the late Tertiary and Quaternary of Australia. Pp. 35-46. in Evolution of the Flora and Fauna of Arid Australia, edited by W.R. Barker, and P.J.M Greensalde. Peacock Publications, Adelaide.
Clarke, A. 1988. The biology of caves in Southern Tasmania. Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group Newsletter/Journal 3: 18-29.
Churchill, S. 2008 Australian Bats. (2nded) Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest.
Commonwealth of Australia 1999. Geography. Pp. 27-36 in Tasmanian Year Book 2000. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
DPIW 2007 Department of Primary Industries and Water Annual Report 2007. Department Primary Industries and Water, Hobart.
Dixon, K.J. 2000 Energetics of Nyctophilus geoffroyi in Tasmania. Honours Thesis, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
Dixon, K.J. and Rose, R.W. 2003. Thermal energetic of Nyctophilus geoffroyi (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) at the southern limits of its distribution. Australian Journal of Zoology 51: 43-50.
Doran, N.E., Eberhard, S.M., Richardson, A.M.M., and Swain, R. 1997. Invertebrate biodiversity and conservation in Tasmanian caves. Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 56: 649-653.
Duncan, A., Baker, G.B. and Montgomery, N. (eds) 1999 Action Plan for Australian Bats. Environment Australia, Canberra.
Duncan, A.M.R. 1995 Use of silvicultural regrowth by fauna. A report to Forestry Tasmania and the Department of Primary Industry and Energy, Canberra. Forest Practices Unit, Hobart.
Erickson, W., Johnson, G., Young, D., Strickland, D., Good, R., Bourassa, M., Bay, K., and Sernka, K. 2002 Synthesis and Comparison of Baseline Avian and Bat Use, Raptor Nesting and Mortality Information from Proposed and Existing Wind Developments. West, Inc. Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Forest Practices Authority 2006 The Annual Report of the Forest Practices Authority 2005-06. Forest Practices Authority, Hobart.
Gorman, M.L. 1979 Island Ecology. Chapman and Hall, London.
Green, R.H. 1965. Observations on the little brown bat Eptesicus pumilus Gray in Tasmania. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 20: 1-16.
Green, R.H. 1966. Notes on lesser long-eared bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi in northern Tasmania. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 22: 1-4.
Green, R.H. 1969. The birds of Flinders Island with references to the other eastern Bass Strait islands and annotated lists of other vertebrate fauna. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 34: 1-32.
Green, R.H. 1983 Skulls of the Mammals in Tasmania. Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania.
Green, R.H. and McGarvie, A.M. 1971. The birds of King Island with reference to other western Bass Strait islands and annotated lists of the vertebrate fauna. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 40: 1-42.
Green, R.H. and Rainbird, J.L. 1984. The bat genus Eptesicus Gray in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Naturalist 76: 1-5.
Green, R.H. 1995 The fauna of Tasmania: Birds. Potoroo Publishing, Launceston, Tasmania.
Hope, G.S. 1978. The Late Pleistocene and Holocene vegetational history of Hunter Island, north-western Tasmania. Australian Journal of Botany 26: 493-514.
Halpin, K., Young, P.L., Field, H.E. and Mackenzie, J.S. 2000. Isolation of Hendra virus from pteropid bats: a natural reservoir of Hendra virus. Journal of General Virology 81 1927-1932.
Inada, I. 2006 Acoustical survey of winter activity of Tasmanian bats: a comparative study. Honours Thesis, University of Tasmania.
Jackson, W.D. 1999. The Tasmanian environment. Pp. 11-38 in Vegetation of Tasmania, edited by J.B. Reid, R.S. Hill, M.J. Brown and M.J. Hovenden Australian Biological Resources Study, Environment Australia, Canberra.
Jennings, J.N. 1975. How well off is Australia for caves and karst? A brief geomorphic estimate. Pp. 82-90 in Proceedings of the 10th Australian Speleological Federation Conference 27-29 December 1974, edited by A. W. Graham. Australian Speleological Federation, Broadway, N.S.W.
Kincade, T.J. 1999 Reproductive biology of Tasmanian bats. Honours Thesis, University of Tasmania.
Koch, A.J., Munks, S.A. and Whoehler, E.J. 2008. Hollow-using vertebrate fauna of Tasmania: distribution, hollow requirements and conservation status. Australian Journal of Zoology 56: 323-349.
Koopman, K.F. 1984. Taxonomic and distributional notes on tropical Australian bats. American Museum Novitates 2778:1-48.
Law, B.S. Chidel, M. and Turner, G. 2000. The use by wildlife of paddock trees in farmland. Pacific Conservation Biology 6: 130-143.
Lumsden, L.F. and Bennett, A.F. 2000. Bats in rural landscapes: a significant but largely unknown faunal component. Pp. 42-50 in Balancing Conservation and Production in Grassy Landscapes. Proceedings of the Bushcare Grassy Landscapes Conference, Clare, South Australia, 19-21 August 1999, edited by T. Barlow and R. Thorburn. Environment Australia, Canberra.
Lumsden, L.F. and Bennett, A.F. 2005. Scattered trees in rural landscapes: foraging habitat for insectivorous bats in south-eastern Australia. Biological Conservation 122: 205-222.
Lumsden, L.F., Bennett, A.F., Krasna, S.P. and Silins, J.E. 1995. The conservation of insectivorous bats in rural landscapes of northern Victoria. Pp.142-148 in People and Nature Conservation: Perspectives on Private Land Use and Endangered Species Recovery, edited by A. Bennett, G. Backhouse and T. Clark. Transactions of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Sydney.
Morrison P.C. 1941. Notes and Specimens. Wild Life Australian Nature Magazine 3: 213.
National Wind Coordinating Committee 2004 Wind Turbine Interactions with Birds and Bats: A Summary of Research Results and Remaining Questions. Fact Sheet: Second Edition. Incomplete: National Wind Coordinating Committee, Washington, DC.
O'Neill, M.G. 1984 Structure and composition of Tasmanian bat communities. Honours Thesis, University of Tasmania.
O'Neill, M.G. and Taylor R.J. 1989. Feeding ecology of Tasmanian bat assemblages. Australian Journal of Ecology 14: 19-31.
Parnaby, H.E. 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
Philips, W.R., Tidemann, C.R., Inwards, S.J. and Winderlich, S. 1985. The Tasmanian Pipistrelle Pipistrellus tasmaniensis Gould 1958: Annual activity and breeding cycles. Macroderma 1: 2-11.
Resource Planning and Development Commission 2003. State of the Environment Tasmania 2003, last modified 14 Dec 2006, http//, accessed 9 October 2007
Rhodes, M.P. 1996 Use of Silvicultural Regrowth for Foraging by Tasmanian Bat Species. Report to Forestry Tasmania and the Department of Primary Industry and Energy, Hobart. Forest Practices Board, Hobart.
Rhodes, M.P. 2001 Bat Survey of Proposed Windfarm site, Musselroe Bay, North-east Tasmania, 4-6 December 2001. Report to Hydro Tasmania. Consultant Zoologist, Taringa, QLD.
Richards, G.C. 1983 Gould's Long-eared Bat. Pp 330 in Complete Book of Australian Mammals, edited by R. Strahan. Angus and Robertson Publishers, Sydney.
Richardson, A., Doran, N., Eberhard, S., and Swain, R. 1997. Bioconservation and Tasmanian cave fauna. Pp. 17-24 in Cave and Karst Management in Australasia 11: Proceedings of the Eleventh Australasian Conference on Cave and Karst Management, edited by K. Henderson, I. Houshold and G. Middleton. Australian Cave and Karst Management Association, Carlton South and Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania, Hobart.
Rounsevell, D.E. 1980. The first record of the bat Eptesicus sagittula in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Naturalist 62: 15-16.
Rounsevell, D.E, Taylor, R.J. and Hocking, G.J. 1991. Distribution records of native terrestrial mammals in Tasmania. Wildlife Research 18: 699-717.
Savva, N. and Taylor, R.J. 1986. Bat remains in a Tasmanian cave. Macroderma 2: 21.
Schulz, M. and Kristensen, K. 1996. Bats of coastal southwestern Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 130: 1-5.
Sharland, M. 1962 Tasmanian Wild Life. Melbourne University Press, Parkville, Victoria.
Strahan, R. (ed.). 1983 Complete Book of Australian Mammals. Angus and Robertson Publishers, Sydney.
Taylor, R.J. and O'Neill, G. 1986. Composition of the bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) communities in Tasmanian forests. Australian Mammalogy 9: 125-130.
Taylor, R.J. and O'Neill, G. 1988. Summer activity patterns of insectivorous bats and their prey in Tasmania. Australian Wildlife Research 15: 533-539.
Taylor, R.J., and Savva, N.M. 1988. Use of roost sites by four species of bats in State Forest in south-Eastern Tasmania. Australian Wildlife Research 15: 637-645.
Taylor, R.J., Bryant, S.L., Pemberton, D. And Norton, T.W. 1985. Mammals of the Upper Henty River region, western Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 119: 7-14.
Taylor, R.J., O'Neill, M.G. and Reardon, T. 1987. Tasmanian bats: identification, distribution and natural history. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 121: 109-119.
Tyson, R.M. Strange bat deaths at St Leonards, northern Tasmania. The Tasmanian Naturalist 66: 2-3.
Woinarski, J. 1985. Sharing of small hollow by roosting bats and nesting forty-spotted pardalotes. The Tasmanian Naturalist 84: 1.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal