Suzanne J. Hand, 2012. "Australian bats: differential responses to Cenozoic climate change", Wildlife and Climate Change: Towards robust conservation strategies for Australian fauna, Daniel Lunney, Hutchings Pat
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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.