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Bats represent approximately a quarter of Australia's living land mammals. Their sensitivity to current climate change has prompted global recognition of them as bellwether species. The Australian fossil record is rich in bats from a period of sequential climate changes over the last 25 million years of the Cenozoic. Long-term, overall trends apparent from fossil and modern records in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northern Australia include an increase in diversity in vespertilionids, pteropodids and emballonurids, decline in hipposiderids and mystacinids, and relatively stable diversity in megadermatids and molossids. This deep-time record indicates that individual bat families have responded differently to past changes in Australia's climate and environments, with those responses ranging from diversification to decline and extirpation. Extinction is a normal part of the process of evolution but the speed with which anthropogenic global warming is occurring threatens to disrupt that natural balance.

Aplin, K. P. 1981. Faunal remains from the archaeological sites in Mangrove Creek Catchment. Pp 1-73 in Attenbrow, V. (ed.). Mangrove Creek Dam salvage excavation project. Volume 2. Unpublished report to National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales, Sydney.
Archer, M., Arena, D.A., Bassarova, M., Beck, R.M.D., Black, K., Boles, W.E., Brewer, P., Cooke, B.N., Crosby, K., Gillespie, A., Godthelp, H., Hand, S.J., Kear, B.P., Louys, J., Morrell, A., Muirhead, J., Roberts, K.K., Scanlon, J.D., Travouillon, K.J. and Wroe, S. 2006. Current status of species-level representation in faunas from selected fossil localities in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland. Alcheringa 30: 1-17.
Archer, M. and Brayshaw, H. 1978. Recent local faunas from excavations at Herveys Range, Kennedy, Jourama, and Mount Roundback, north-eastern Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 18: 7.
Archer, M., Godthelp, H., Hand, S.J. and Megirian, D. 1989. Fossil mammals of Riversleigh, northwestern Queensland: preliminary overview of biostratigraphy, correlation and environmental change. Australian Zoologist 25: 29-65.
Archer, M., Hand, S.J. and Godthelp, H. 1994. Riversleigh: the story of animals in ancient rainforests of inland Australia. Reprint with revisions, Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.
Burns, C.E., Johnston, K.M. and Schmitz, O.J. 2003. Global climate change and mammalian species diversity in U.S. national parks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100: 11474-77.
Churchill, S.K. 2008. Australian bats. Second edition. Jacana Books, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
Climate Watch 2010. ://www.climatewatch.org.au/sites/default/files/CON_070_White-striped_Bat_Flyer.pdf
Eiting, T.P. and Gunnell, G.F. 2009. Global completeness of the bat fossil record. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 16: 151-73.
Flannery, T. F. 1995. Mammals of New Guinea. Revised edition. Reed Books, Chatswood.
Frakes, L.A., McGowran, B. and Bowler, J.M. 1987. Evolution of Australian environments. Pp 1-16 in Dyne, G.R. and Walton, D.W. (eds). Fauna of Australia, vol 1A. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
Hand, S.J. 1984. Bat beginnings and biogeography: a southern perspective. Pp. 853-904 in Archer, M. and Clayton, G. (eds). Vertebrate Zoogeography and Evolution in Australasia. Hesperian Press, Perth.
Hand, S.J. 1999. Australian fossil bat diversity and evolution. Australian Mammalogy 21: 29-32.
Hand, S.J. 2006. Bat beginnings and biogeography: the Australasian record. Pp 673-705 in Merrick, J. Archer, M., Hickey, G. M. and Lee, M. S. Y. (eds). Evolution and biogeography of Australasian vertebrates. Auscipub Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Hand, S.J. and Archer, M. 2005. A new hipposiderid genus (Microchiroptera) from an early Miocene bat community in Australia. Palaeontology 48: 1-13.
Hand, S., Archer, M. and Godthelp, H. 2001. New Miocene Icarops material (Microchiroptera, Mystacinidae) from Australia, with a revised diagnosis of the genus. Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists 25: 139-46.
Hand, S., Archer, M. and Godthelp, H. 2005. Australian Oligo-Miocene mystacinids (Microchiroptera): upper dentition, new taxa and divergence of New Zealand species. Geobios 38: 339-52.
Hand, S., Archer, M. and Godthelp, H. 2010. Bat extinctions in the Australasian Region: view from the fourth dimension. Pp 161-62 in Horacek, I. and Benda, P. (eds). 15th International Bat Research Conference Manual, Prague, 2010. ISBN 978-80-87154-46-5.
Legendre, S. 1982. Hipposideridae (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from the Mediterranean Middle and Late Neogene and evolution of the genera Hipposideros and Asellia.Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 2, 386-99.
Lloyd, B.D. 2005. Greater short-tailed bat. Pp 127-29 in King C.M. (ed.). Handbook of New Zealand Mammals. Second edition. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Lundy, M., Montgomery, I.W. and Russ, J. 2010. Climate change linked range expansion of Pipistrellus nathusii. Pp 215-6 in Horacek, I. and Benda, P. (eds). 15th International Bat Research Conference Manual, Prague, 2010.
Machado, R.B. and Aguiar, L.M.S. 2010. Future scenarios caused by climate change on bat species from the Brazilian Cerrado: what if the species are not able to move? Pp 217-18 in Horacek, I. and Benda, P. (eds). 15th International Bat Research Conference Manual, Prague, 2010.
McGowran, B., Holdgate, G. R., Li, Q. and Gallagher, S. J. 2004. Cenozoic stratigraphic succession in southeastern Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 51: 459-96.
McGowran, B. and Li, Q. 1994. The Miocene oscillation in southern Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 27:197-212
Martin, H.A. 2006. Cenozoic climatic change and the development of the arid vegetation in Australia. Journal of Arid Environments 66:533-63
Menu, H., Hand, S. J. and Sigé, B. 2002. Oldest Australian vespertilionid (Microchiroptera) from the Miocene of Riversleigh. Alcheringa 26: 319-31.
Nowak, R. M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
Payne, J., Francis, C. M. and Phillips, K. 1985. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society with World Wildlife Fund Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
Rebello, H., Tarraso, P. and Jones, G. 2010. Predicted impact of climate change on European bats in relation to their biogeographic patterns. Global Change Biology 16: 561-76.
Remy, J. A., Crochet, J.-Y., Sigé, B., Sudre, J., de Bonis, L., Vianey-Liaud, M., Godinot, M., Hartenberger, J.-L., Lang-Badre, B. and Comte, B. 1987. Biochronologie des phosphorites de Quercy: mise à jour des listes fauniques et nouveaux gisements de mammifères fossiles. Münchner Geowissenschaftliche Abhandlungen A 10: 169-88.
Robinson, R.A., Learmonth, J.A., Hutson, A.M., Macleod, C.D., Sparks, T.H., Leech, D.I., Pierce, G.J., Rehfisch, M.M. and Crick, H.P.Q. 2005. Climate Change and Migratory Species. British Trust for Ornithology, Norfolk. Report for Defra Research Contract CR0302. 304 pp.
Sachanowicz, K., Wower, A. and Bashta, A.-T. 2006. Further range extension of Pipistrellus kuhlii (Kuhl, 1817) in central and eastern Europe. Acta Chiropterologica 8: 543-48.
Travouillon, K.J., Legendre, S., Archer, M. and Hand, S.J. 2009. Palaeoecological analyses of Riversleigh's Oligo-Miocene Sites: implications for Oligo-Miocene climate change in Australia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 276: 24-37.
Van Dyck, S. and R. Strahan (eds) 2008. Mammals of Australia. New Holland, Sydney
White, C. 1967. Plateau and Plain; Prehistoric Investigations in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Unpublished PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra.
White, A.W. and Mason, D.R. 2011. The mammal fauna of Riversleigh and Boodjamulla National Park. Australian Zoologist 35: 599-618.
Wilson, D.E. 1973. Bat faunas: a trophic comparison. Systematic Zoology 22: 14-29.
Zachos, J.C., Dickens, G.R. and Zeebe, R.E. 2008. An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics. Nature 451: 279-83.
Zachos, J., Pagani, M., Sloan, L., Thomas, E. and Billups, K. 2001. Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present. Science 292: 686-93.
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References

Aplin, K. P. 1981. Faunal remains from the archaeological sites in Mangrove Creek Catchment. Pp 1-73 in Attenbrow, V. (ed.). Mangrove Creek Dam salvage excavation project. Volume 2. Unpublished report to National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales, Sydney.
Archer, M., Arena, D.A., Bassarova, M., Beck, R.M.D., Black, K., Boles, W.E., Brewer, P., Cooke, B.N., Crosby, K., Gillespie, A., Godthelp, H., Hand, S.J., Kear, B.P., Louys, J., Morrell, A., Muirhead, J., Roberts, K.K., Scanlon, J.D., Travouillon, K.J. and Wroe, S. 2006. Current status of species-level representation in faunas from selected fossil localities in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland. Alcheringa 30: 1-17.
Archer, M. and Brayshaw, H. 1978. Recent local faunas from excavations at Herveys Range, Kennedy, Jourama, and Mount Roundback, north-eastern Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 18: 7.
Archer, M., Godthelp, H., Hand, S.J. and Megirian, D. 1989. Fossil mammals of Riversleigh, northwestern Queensland: preliminary overview of biostratigraphy, correlation and environmental change. Australian Zoologist 25: 29-65.
Archer, M., Hand, S.J. and Godthelp, H. 1994. Riversleigh: the story of animals in ancient rainforests of inland Australia. Reprint with revisions, Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.
Burns, C.E., Johnston, K.M. and Schmitz, O.J. 2003. Global climate change and mammalian species diversity in U.S. national parks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100: 11474-77.
Churchill, S.K. 2008. Australian bats. Second edition. Jacana Books, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
Climate Watch 2010. ://www.climatewatch.org.au/sites/default/files/CON_070_White-striped_Bat_Flyer.pdf
Eiting, T.P. and Gunnell, G.F. 2009. Global completeness of the bat fossil record. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 16: 151-73.
Flannery, T. F. 1995. Mammals of New Guinea. Revised edition. Reed Books, Chatswood.
Frakes, L.A., McGowran, B. and Bowler, J.M. 1987. Evolution of Australian environments. Pp 1-16 in Dyne, G.R. and Walton, D.W. (eds). Fauna of Australia, vol 1A. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
Hand, S.J. 1984. Bat beginnings and biogeography: a southern perspective. Pp. 853-904 in Archer, M. and Clayton, G. (eds). Vertebrate Zoogeography and Evolution in Australasia. Hesperian Press, Perth.
Hand, S.J. 1999. Australian fossil bat diversity and evolution. Australian Mammalogy 21: 29-32.
Hand, S.J. 2006. Bat beginnings and biogeography: the Australasian record. Pp 673-705 in Merrick, J. Archer, M., Hickey, G. M. and Lee, M. S. Y. (eds). Evolution and biogeography of Australasian vertebrates. Auscipub Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Hand, S.J. and Archer, M. 2005. A new hipposiderid genus (Microchiroptera) from an early Miocene bat community in Australia. Palaeontology 48: 1-13.
Hand, S., Archer, M. and Godthelp, H. 2001. New Miocene Icarops material (Microchiroptera, Mystacinidae) from Australia, with a revised diagnosis of the genus. Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists 25: 139-46.
Hand, S., Archer, M. and Godthelp, H. 2005. Australian Oligo-Miocene mystacinids (Microchiroptera): upper dentition, new taxa and divergence of New Zealand species. Geobios 38: 339-52.
Hand, S., Archer, M. and Godthelp, H. 2010. Bat extinctions in the Australasian Region: view from the fourth dimension. Pp 161-62 in Horacek, I. and Benda, P. (eds). 15th International Bat Research Conference Manual, Prague, 2010. ISBN 978-80-87154-46-5.
Legendre, S. 1982. Hipposideridae (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from the Mediterranean Middle and Late Neogene and evolution of the genera Hipposideros and Asellia.Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 2, 386-99.
Lloyd, B.D. 2005. Greater short-tailed bat. Pp 127-29 in King C.M. (ed.). Handbook of New Zealand Mammals. Second edition. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Lundy, M., Montgomery, I.W. and Russ, J. 2010. Climate change linked range expansion of Pipistrellus nathusii. Pp 215-6 in Horacek, I. and Benda, P. (eds). 15th International Bat Research Conference Manual, Prague, 2010.
Machado, R.B. and Aguiar, L.M.S. 2010. Future scenarios caused by climate change on bat species from the Brazilian Cerrado: what if the species are not able to move? Pp 217-18 in Horacek, I. and Benda, P. (eds). 15th International Bat Research Conference Manual, Prague, 2010.
McGowran, B., Holdgate, G. R., Li, Q. and Gallagher, S. J. 2004. Cenozoic stratigraphic succession in southeastern Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 51: 459-96.
McGowran, B. and Li, Q. 1994. The Miocene oscillation in southern Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 27:197-212
Martin, H.A. 2006. Cenozoic climatic change and the development of the arid vegetation in Australia. Journal of Arid Environments 66:533-63
Menu, H., Hand, S. J. and Sigé, B. 2002. Oldest Australian vespertilionid (Microchiroptera) from the Miocene of Riversleigh. Alcheringa 26: 319-31.
Nowak, R. M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
Payne, J., Francis, C. M. and Phillips, K. 1985. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society with World Wildlife Fund Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
Rebello, H., Tarraso, P. and Jones, G. 2010. Predicted impact of climate change on European bats in relation to their biogeographic patterns. Global Change Biology 16: 561-76.
Remy, J. A., Crochet, J.-Y., Sigé, B., Sudre, J., de Bonis, L., Vianey-Liaud, M., Godinot, M., Hartenberger, J.-L., Lang-Badre, B. and Comte, B. 1987. Biochronologie des phosphorites de Quercy: mise à jour des listes fauniques et nouveaux gisements de mammifères fossiles. Münchner Geowissenschaftliche Abhandlungen A 10: 169-88.
Robinson, R.A., Learmonth, J.A., Hutson, A.M., Macleod, C.D., Sparks, T.H., Leech, D.I., Pierce, G.J., Rehfisch, M.M. and Crick, H.P.Q. 2005. Climate Change and Migratory Species. British Trust for Ornithology, Norfolk. Report for Defra Research Contract CR0302. 304 pp.
Sachanowicz, K., Wower, A. and Bashta, A.-T. 2006. Further range extension of Pipistrellus kuhlii (Kuhl, 1817) in central and eastern Europe. Acta Chiropterologica 8: 543-48.
Travouillon, K.J., Legendre, S., Archer, M. and Hand, S.J. 2009. Palaeoecological analyses of Riversleigh's Oligo-Miocene Sites: implications for Oligo-Miocene climate change in Australia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 276: 24-37.
Van Dyck, S. and R. Strahan (eds) 2008. Mammals of Australia. New Holland, Sydney
White, C. 1967. Plateau and Plain; Prehistoric Investigations in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Unpublished PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra.
White, A.W. and Mason, D.R. 2011. The mammal fauna of Riversleigh and Boodjamulla National Park. Australian Zoologist 35: 599-618.
Wilson, D.E. 1973. Bat faunas: a trophic comparison. Systematic Zoology 22: 14-29.
Zachos, J.C., Dickens, G.R. and Zeebe, R.E. 2008. An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics. Nature 451: 279-83.
Zachos, J., Pagani, M., Sloan, L., Thomas, E. and Billups, K. 2001. Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present. Science 292: 686-93.
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