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The Northern Territory has 36 species of bats including three fruit-bats. For each species we provide a distribution map as well as descriptions of their ecology that is relevant to their conservation and management. With one exception (Hipposideros diadema inornatus), all bat species have relatively broad distributions and species diversity is higher in the northern wet-dry tropics compared to the southern arid zone. Three species, Saccolaimus saccolaimus, Macroderma gigas and H. d. inornatus, are listed as threatened and a further three species, Taphozous kapalgensis, H. stenotis and Rhinonicteris aurantius, have been listed as near threatened under Territory, National and/or International legislative and conservation listings.

Since European settlement, no bat species are thought to have become extinct, although there is little historical data available to confirm this pattern. M. gigas has undergone a significant decline in range in recent years, but is currently regarded as secure. H. d. inornatus has also suffered a localised extinction, but is also regarded as secure. There are indications that H. stenotis may be declining and is in need of further assessment. The main recommendations for the future conservation management of bats in the Northern Territory include: targeted surveys for priority species; general surveys of poorly known areas; establishment of longer-term monitoring programs; further autecological research, particularly for the more common species; and further research to assess the importance of riparian zones as areas of conservation significance for bats.

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